Normally when applying for undergrad studies abroad, especially USA, focus of the students is on scoring well in the standardised test scores – SAT I / ACT / SAT 2 or subject SATs .
While a good SAT or ACT score will determine the colleges you can apply to, I would like to stress that these scores mainly function as a first level filter. It must be kept in mind that students from world over apply to colleges in US. These colleges receive application from students who have studied under various syllabi and different grading systems in their High Schools, thereby making it difficult to evaluate every applicant on a common parameter to determine his/her eligibility. Hence, standardised tests like SAT and ACT, which are taken by the students the world over, including US students, make it a good comparison tool to determine first level eligibility.
Hence, it should be clearly understood that a great standardised score which is unsupported by a good and a consistent academic record will not automatically secure an admission to the college you were eligible to apply for based on the standardised scores. It is the academic achievements, amongst other parameters, which will primarily determine the decision for granting admission.
Here I would also like to stress the importance of Class 11 score. First, it is the highest academic class based on which the student applies for undergrad studies. The application process commences after Class 11 results are declared and just as Class 12 commences. Second, the decision for admission is conveyed before your Class 12 results are declared. Hence, the decision is based on Class 11 results. Also, the applicants are required to submit Class 9 and Class 10 (Boards) performance by way of transcripts. This is to determine the consistency factor. In case of students under IB curriculum, Predicted Score for Class 12 is required to be submitted. This predicted score is based on Class 11 performance.
So my advice to all those who aspire to study for their undergrad abroad, is to focus on your academics, especially in Class 11. Ultimately, this alone will be the determining factor for your admission.
Head of Counselling