The time of year has arrived when application outcomes to US colleges and universities are out. For many a graduating High School Senior in the US, and many more around the world who aspire to attend US universities, the moment of truth dawns. This is especially nail-biting for those who chase the most competitive schools. They would have long understood that their odds are long. Indeed, they are, inherently so, but how many of these presumably high echelon students had been wise to the potential of SAT in aiding their quests?
Most US colleges and universities evaluate applications on a holistic basis. Typically, academic results, SAT (or ACT) scores, application essays, recommendation letters, ECA’s and CV’s are evaluated along with possibly other tests and assessments which are specific to the particular schools. With the exception of SAT (ACT), these criteria are essentially non-standardized and it’s really the prerogative of the Admission Officers to appraise their merits. Given that Admission Officers may not be thoroughly familiar with their backdrops, overseas applications may be disadvantaged. For a place like Penang, Malaysia, that sucks.
SAT scores can reflect the worthiness of your other achievements and Admission Officers do watch out on that. If it’s an alluring one, it will interest them. After all, that’’s the fundamental purpose of a standardized test. SAT is SAT anywhere, SAT America, SAT United Kingdom or SAT Penang regardless. Admittedly, a solid SAT score is not in
itself a home-run but it will keep you in the game.
Top universities are more selective than they appear to be. Their published admission rates must be interpreted with a keen eye. An Ivy League school won’t be eager to highlight that its acceptance number includes legacy, sponsorship and donor cases, not to mention prominent backgrounds like high offices, affluence, celebrities and so forth.
In reality, the percentage of successful applicants through the ‘front door’ could be miniscule.
For some, gaining admission to top schools is not a matter of life and death – it’s more than that and SAT can help to pave the way.