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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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The Big Book
nyah, tongueout, glasses, nerd
I think Washington University is serious about wanting me in.

Just a hunch, but I'm pretty sure that not everybody gets a free copy of a $10.00, 352 pg. book of courses before he or she even sends in his or her final application.

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Sorry, but the line "PAK CHOOIE UNF PAK CHOOIE UNF PAK CHOOIE UNF UNF UNF UNF" comes from "The Terrible Secret Of Space," by the same group. (Incidentally, it's next on my play list.)

This is the one with the unforgettable lyrics...

"All your base your base
All your base are belong to us"

...so in this context, "Somebody set up us the book" would be about right.

I know which ones are which. I decided to say the other one though.

So nyah to you.

All your nyah are belong to us?

Well, I'm sure they do... obviously I don't know all your grades, but I'd be quite willing to bet that your number of A+s is rather high :)

Out of interest, how does the whole university entrance thing work in the US? Here it normally happens after your A-Levels, which are after GCSEs, but it seems that you only do one set of public examinations in the US.

So far, every single class I've taken through the American School has been an A+, except for Careers, which was A+!, the score given to a natural 100% (100% before extra credit).

The entire university entrance thing (A.K.A. College Roulette) doesn't paralel nicely.

Usually, in one's junior or senior year of high school (11th and 12th grade), or both, one takes the SAT, ACT, SAT2, or any combination of the three. The ACT is the most difficult of the set, scoring from zero to 36; my composite of 33 is in the top 1.5%. The SAT is, in my opinion, the easiest; it scores from 200 to 1600. My 1450 (720 math 730 text) is in the same range; each year, only about three of the thousands of test-takers manage to get perfect 800/800 scores. The SAT2, which I haven't taken, is a more difficult version of the SAT where you only test in certain areas. The questions are more specialized, and the tests are longer.

Your scores are indeletable, and go on permanent record. Most colleges will look at your best single scores: read only the highest composite. Washington University is lenient, and look at your best combined scores: read the highest scores from all your tests in each area (for any given test) and calculate the composite from that. A very few colleges look only at the first time you took the test; more look at only your most recent tests.

Most colleges use tests for a large proportion of their admission criteria. Washington University uses it less than most, except for homeschooled students. Therefore, my kick-tail test scores are as close to a certain pass as it comes; the "average" student in Wash. U gets SAT 600/600 and ACT 30. My scores blow those out of the water by a larger margin than you'd think, as both tests are scored exponentially. My grandfather is a physics professor, which also helps my case.

Each of the tests will be sent directly to five colleges or universities, selected by the student, by the company that does the test. This will usually result in getting admissions forms from the colleges you send to, and other (lower-quality) colleges who read the open list of test scores, which all tests are put on.

The next step is to somehow dig through the deluge of mail. I've gotten over 500 letters from over 250 colleges asking for me, with the greatest number from Wash U, as I've replied to them. It is common practice to send one ED application- what I'm sending now- and if that fails, all the RD applications you can. Early Decision is saying that "I want to go to this college more than anywhere else in the entire world. I will know sooner if I am accepted or not, but if I am accepted, I am contractually obligated to attend this college. I will only send one Early Decision application, and to only one college." Regular decision puts you under no such limits.

...And then you wait and pray. Eventually, I'll get an envelope from everywhere I mail an admission to. Bad news is an unadorned envelope; good news is one with red text saying "RUSH PRIORITY" and "DATED MATERIAL, OPEN IMMEDIATELY" and "YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED" on the back. One doesn't always have to open the envelopes to know.

If your Early Decision has accepted you, the decision is made. If not, then choose between Regular Decision acceptances. With none of those... you gotta wait another year.

...that enough grotesque detail?

Yes, thanks!

If you're interested in the UK system at all, I could write a description, but don't really have time now. Instead I'll point out UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service):
UCAS Advice.

Either that, or they're on to your secret desire to kill all the world's trees, and see you as a like-minded soul who will appreciate their efforts to kill trees, and perhaps even support them by going out and wreaking havock on your neighbor's mapels in a fit of senseless tree-related violence, and have sent you the Big Book as a secret message which only you can decode for what it is, a rousing cry to go out and kill more trees.

Or maybe they do want you.

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