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Taking a gap year after 12th, chances of making to any good Univ for class of 2018?

haultushaultus Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
edited May 2013 in India
I've appeared for my ISC 12th exams this year.
I kinda woke up REALLY late to this US college admissions stuff, so I have not given SAT or any such exam yet.
My question is, if I take a gap year,and give SAT and apply to colleges this year, will I be able to make it to Class of 2018 in some good univ?

I mean, do the good colleges EVEN CONSIDER applications from students who take a gap year? What is the general trend? Do most students apply while they are in 12th, or do a considerable number also apply after 12th, like me, and still get in?
Also, am I at a really HUGE disadvantage compared to the applicants who will appear for their 12th exams this year?

P.S.- I'm a newbie here.
Post edited by haultus on

Replies to: Taking a gap year after 12th, chances of making to any good Univ for class of 2018?

  • nikhilravinikhilravi Posts: 2 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    A gap year is usually a year spent doing non-academic stuff. If you take the SAT and other exams in your gap year, it will seem very obvious that you took the gap year to improve your chances, which will work against you. Of course, I'm no expert and you must seek the opinion of people who have actually taken a gap year to do what you're planning on doing. Better still, contact the colleges you wish to apply to. Good luck!
  • firefliesdancefirefliesdance Posts: 6 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    People DO take gap years. I don't have statistics and that shouldn't really be important. What's incredibly important is that you justify taking a gap year. You know- intern at some place, work for a rehabilitation center, pursue a hobby (photography, piano, origami-anything really) with full-blown passion, travel to China, basically anything that makes the experience worthwhile. Something you enjoy and something that will make you grow as a person. I don't have personal experience either but I know a lot of people who've made the full use of their gap year, done fulfilling and amazing things, and got into great colleges the next year. If you're going into this with the mindset that you're taking a gap year for the sake of getting into college, it's just going to work against you. Best of luck, whatever you do! :)
  • haultushaultus Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Thanks for the reply, it really cleared a hell lot of doubts!

    One more thing.
    I've been my class topper till class 10th, and in my 10th board(ICSE) exams, I got 95.0% (which is considered very high).
    But I messed up my 11th and 12th, stood 11th in my XIth class, and am expecting just around 85% in my ISC board exams.

    For my EC's, I have LOADS of quiz victories, I've played Quizmaster in a stage quiz, and am an associate Quizmaster at a very well known Quizzing company in India.
    Besides, I've hosted my school's foundation day, and have been regional finalist in some other competitions like Spell Bee, etc.
    Also, I cleared the first round of NTSE exam, and am also a 2D/3D animator (I'm quite good at it, but I haven't done any certificate course, just learned it off the tutorials available on the internet)

    My question-
    Will having just 85% in my board exams REALLY mess up my chances?
    I mean, do they judge applicants by their board scores?
    Or can I compensate for it with a good SAT score?

    Thanks!
  • firefliesdancefirefliesdance Posts: 6 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Everything counts- boards, school marks, standardized testing, essays, ECs, recs. Nothing compensates, per se, for anything else. But there's no point going on about something you can't change. 85% is decent and not a deal-breaker from any point of view. Continue your ECs and explore. Sky's the limit, right? Your chances are still great.
  • TusharKCTusharKC Posts: 3 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I'm in a similar situation and I'm not sure about skipping an year... I have a very similar profile as yours... I did well in my 10 boards but messed up my 12th boards exam... I'm expecting 80-85%... I'll be aiming for USC and wanted to know my chances and their requirements ... Thanks
    PS: autocorrect makes me sick
  • haultushaultus Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    @firefliesdance Thanks for clearing that up. Appreciate your help!
    Okay, I know this is going to be a WAAAAAY vague question,could you suggest me which univs I should think are within my reach? Just a rough guess would do, based on what all I've mentioned about my ECs and my scores and marks.
    Also, what all do you recommend I should do in my gap year that would increase my chances of taking up Computer Science?

    @TusharKC Since I can't send you a private message till I have 15 posts here, could you tell me what all do you have in your ECs?
  • Crystal31Crystal31 Posts: 8 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    @haultus, deciding universities is not a right thing. I think you should give your standardized tests and see the scores. Your EC's and score look decent so you can get into universities like Berkeley and Chicago but like I said its too early to assume anything. Say if you score 2300 on your SAT then you have chances of making it to Ivy League colleges like say Harvard. It all depends on how your SAT comes out along with what you will do in the gap year which you will be taking.

    All the best.
  • jak321jak321 Posts: 9 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    @Crystal31
    The SAT thing is just not true, the average SAT score at Harvard is just over 2300, if that, and is well below 2300 for ivies like Cornell and Dartmouth (both of which are less selective than Chicago). For that matter, I think UChicago's average SAT scores for the C/o 2017 are higher than HYPSM, not that I would attach much importance do that either.

    OT: Yes, colleges do consider gap year students, but would probably expect more (at the very least they expect that crucial "gap year" essay) from gap year students.

    An 85 wouldn't affect your chances too badly at all, and if it's the top 10% of your school, empirical evidence suggests that you would still stand a good chance at certain ivies. Do gun for a 2250+ though...
  • haultushaultus Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    @Crystal31 Thanks for the guidance. What do you recommend I should do in my gap year if I want to take up engineering or Computer Science?

    @jak321 Thanks for clearing that up. Btw, could you elaborate upon that "gap year" essay thing? I'm new to this process, so this question might sound naive.

    Also, I have loads of achievements in quizzing. In my gap year, should I strengthen this field ? Or should I go for other stuff like music or something to increase the variety of my EC's ?

    Thanks!
  • haultushaultus Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Correction: My 12th ISC board results came out today.
    Turns out that I managed 88.25% (best 4 subjects)
  • anialwaysanialways Posts: 21
    edited May 2013
    Yaaayy Congratulations haultus....
  • eatme007eatme007 Posts: 1 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    hey haultus!i am pretty much in the same situation but i think i will be taking a gap year.
  • haultushaultus Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    @anialways Thanks! 88% isn't a really good score though.

    @eatme007 Hi! What are your ECs and marks like?
  • anialwaysanialways Posts: 21
    edited May 2013
    Think positive. It is better than what you were expecting. So count that as a Blessing.
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