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    #246758 - 02/10/20 09:14 AM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 670
    I can only speak to the college my DD attends, but a placement test was used for math, as well as for several other subject areas (off the top of my head, foreign language, music theory, biology...and these were just the few DD was interested in, I suspect it was very common). I suspect it is the norm at most selective places, though if itís important to you I would check.

    The math placement testing was left up to individual students before they had to choose classes. The information was sent at some point over the summer, and most of the placement stuff was done online (I seem to remember DD having to go to a scheduled placement test during orientation on campus, but that was an exception). They also gave placement opportunities based upon AP results (though no credit- this was true for foreign language as well). So kids could take the placement test and to a certain extent, place themselves (Iím sure if there were questions you could ask for advice, but it was pretty clearly outlined). For DD the decisions included whether to take a compressed/accelerated class which essentially combined two classes into one, so even within her level of achievement (which was not advanced beyond her HS offerings) there were different paths open to her. (She did choose the compressed class, and was very satisfied with the pace of instruction- finally!). The breadth of possibilities was amazing, and at least where she is, there were no perceived obstacles, just guidance on what would work best for each individual.

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    #246765 - 02/10/20 10:55 AM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    ruazkaz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/23/12
    Posts: 128
    Hopefully as DS gets a bit farther along in the process, we will find that many of the colleges that accept him have the same approach as the college your DD attends. Thanks!

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    #246776 - 02/11/20 04:04 PM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1551
    how common are placement tests?

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    #246777 - 02/11/20 06:43 PM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 243
    My daughter had a math placement test at UChicago. She also didnít have to take an additional language course due to her Spanish AP score.

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    #246778 - 02/12/20 04:01 AM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1551
    Do you have to have a 5 in AP language to get the credit. DD is taking AP Chinese through self study. They don't offer it at her school. Just found tutors online.

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    #246779 - 02/12/20 05:08 AM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 670
    I think every school is different, and it may vary by department/language as well. To be clear, my DD didnít get any credit, she was exempted from taking a language (ie, met their requirements for graduation). This also grated her access to upper level language classes, but I think a placement exam would have done the same. But again, our only experience is with this one college, the language was German (one needed a 5, I believe).

    I believe one of the reasons there were so many placement tests is that there is a huge variability with the HS preparation kids arrive with, even when they have super high GPAs and test scores. Not all kids have access to high level classes, and even when they do, not all kids take advantage of that, or feel comfortable with how they did in those classes. And some kids prefer to ďre-takeĒ classes they took in HS anyway, to boost GPA (though thankfully DD has not seen much of that).

    DD was surprised at how many kids sheís met who had not taken calculus, for example. And some kids, despite taking foreign language through HS, were unable to gain an exemption and have to take more coursework to fulfill that requirement. Certainly the athletes from our HS who attend elite colleges are not taking AP coursework, or at least not as much of it- they probably donít have time, for one thing. This is also true of kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. It doesnít mean they are not smart kids, but they have not had the same preparation, for the most part. Even in the required freshman seminars there were two levels, one of which was intended to provide more intensive writing support.


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    #246783 - 02/12/20 02:28 PM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1551
    saw this and wondered if it gets slightly less competitive as a result:

    More Chinese and Indian students are going to British universities

    According to Inside Higher Ed, applications from Chinese students to British universities rose 30% in 2019, a development that could portend a continued decline in international applicants to U.S. colleges. Indian applicants represent a smaller number than Chinese applicantsó19,760 vs. 6,210óbut, they too experienced an identical 30% bump last year. Various theories behind the shift include rampant anti-immigrant rhetoric in America, the trade war with China, and the diminished value of the pound which makes a British education more affordable. Presently, over 300,000 Chinese students come to the U.S. to study at American universities, so it isnít as though a small change would be catastrophic to the higher education system as a whole; however, many institutions have come to rely on Chinese students who pay tuition price. Definitely a trend worth tracking throughout the coming admissions season.

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    #246784 - 02/12/20 03:16 PM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: Wren]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3663
    Interesting thought. It might even have a trickle down effect on private secondary institutions, which likewise often depend on international students' tuition (often triple or more the price tag, plus all kinds of fees for hosts and extracurricular add-ons or chaperoned travel), as some of their clientele choose them for their perceived value in the US college admissions process.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #246792 - 02/14/20 10:34 AM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    amylou Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/01/10
    Posts: 263
    I am a long-time occasional poster and we are now 2 years past college admissions, so I am adding our experience here.

    Our 2 kids are twins and now sophomores in college. In K-12, they were never grade accelerated but were subject accelerated in different combinations of math, cs and physics, attending a great public university nearby for these subjects later in high school. They had very high GPAs and test scores, and went to a large public high school with lots of AP courses, and they had great extracurriculars.

    They applied to ~10 colleges each, with some overlap between the 2 on their selected schools. One strongly interested in engineering and the other physics. They got into ~half of the schools they applied to, with some really surprising rejections/waitlists. However, both got into one of the very top STEM schools and both accepted their admission offer from that school.

    Both are absolutely thriving in the "drinking from the fire hose" learning environment at the school. And the engineer, who was always less extreme on the public school assessment scores throughout K-12, is at the top of his class in what is considered one of the toughest majors.

    So, 2 conclusions from our experience. 1. College admissions depend on many factors other than ability to succeed academically - where you get in is not a measure of what you are capable of so don't take it too seriously! 2. If you are parent to an HG kid with siblings, the siblings may surprise you!

    College has fulfilled our desire for challenge and stimulation for our kids in a way that K-12 generally didn't. It was worth the wait!

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    #247003 - 03/29/20 08:33 AM Re: College admissions over - Ask me anything [Re: mithawk]
    mithawk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/25/11
    Posts: 243
    Just circling back on this thread now that we have received all decisions. In order of acceptances received, my son was accepted to Yale, MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Stanford and a few other match/safety schools.

    Obviously the vast majority of credit goes to him, but I think I have a really good understanding of what elite colleges look for. Offering again to answer any questions and willing to read/critique essays for next year.

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