Response to Ralph on applying from Canada

December 5, 2006 at 9:43 pm 2 comments

Posted by Dee

Ralph commented on the post titled, “Response to Stephanie and stressed applicant on changing UC apps.”

He said:

“Hi there. My question is on how big a factor test results, nationality and race are in the American admissions process.
I just took the SAT subject tests for the first time last Saterday. I think I got about 700 on the math 1, 650 on the level 2, and no idea on the chemistry, but it’s probabaly in the 500’s. How will the top schools see this, and how much difference would the fact that I’m a Canadian Indian (which legally means I’m also an American Indian) make?
Otherwise, I have a 90% grade average, and scored 88% and 85% on the two Alberta Diploma standardized tests (chem. and pure math) I’ve taken about 8 months ago. I paticipate in a volunteer organization and student government, and I’m sure I could get good teacher references and essays done.
The big question I have is: Would it be worth it to make a 10 hour drive this Saterday to the nearest ACT test center (I haven’t taken it or the SAT before) or should I just forget it? Thanks for your time.”

Here’s what I’d say:


I think it will help tremendously that you are an American Indian! All the US private schools love to up their diversity statistics and American Indians are very well coveted. Your scores are decent (Chemistry’s a little low, but who knows, you might’ve done better than you think!), as are your grades (A-/B+ average). I think in your applications you should accentuate your extracurricular experiences. And the fact that your teacher recs and essays will be good will definitely add.

I actually would recommend against taking the ACT; personally I’d recommend taking the SAT because 1) it’s generally easier, and 2) it will be accepted everywhere you apply in the US (where as fewer schools accept the ACT).

Plus, 3) there are test centers in Canada for the SAT so your drive wouldn’t be quite as bad. I did some clicking around for you to find the test centers available in Canada for different SAT administration dates. Visit the Test Center Code Search web page, select the date you’d like to take the SAT, scroll to where it says “For International Test Centers,” type in Canada, and press the search button! For the January test date there was a list of 85 locations around Canada, so I hope you’ll be able to find one closer than 10 hours away!

Good luck! Make sure those essays are extraordinary. I think that’s what will make the difference in your case.


Entry filed under: ACT, Admissions, Canada, Chemistry, Diversity, Essays, Ethnicity, Extracurricular activities, Grades, Hour, Indian, Mathematics, Recommendations, SAT, Statistics, Stress, Subject test, Teacher, Testing, Timing, Tips/Tricks, University of California.

How “x” does academics: x = Tufts Sporadic posting in December

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ralph  |  December 21, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    Hi again! Well, I just got my SAT II results and it seems I’m a pretty bad predictor. Turns out I did a lot better in Chemistry and a lot worse in Math 1 than I thought originally thought.
    Chemistry – 670
    Math Level 2 – 670
    Math Level 1 – 590
    I seriously don’t know what happened here. But, anyway, I know that a 700 is good for the top colleges, but are 670’s really that bad? Could it be a deal breaker? Would it be worth telling them that I hadn’t taken math or chem. courses for about 8 months (I couldn’t take bio or physics because I haven’t finished those courses yet), and that I’m from Canada so I wasn’t used to the SAT’s? Or would they not care? I’m so confused…

    Thanks for any help,

  • 2. Linda  |  December 25, 2006 at 3:22 am

    If you are an American Indian with a tribal affiliation you will have NO problem getting into one the more prestigious private colleges in the States. Your scores are pretty good and your grades are as well. I have a neighbor who has a tribal affiliation and was recruited quite rigorously by all the Ivies. Good Luck!


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