I'm an international student and am applying early to Harvard this year. I've taken the ACT and scored a 35. I'm also taking the Math 2 and Physics SAT Subject Tests since many of the schools I am applying to require/recommend them. However, because my school does not run on an internationally recognized curriculum (the school created it itself), and does not offer any AP or IB courses or any kind of examinations whatsoever, I am not as prepared for them as I probably should be. For both tests I am predicting scores in the high 700s, only around the 80th percentile.
I was worried that my Subject Test scores would undermine my application and my ACT score, and so for Harvard in particular, since they only 'recommend' them, I was not going to submit those scores. However, I just found this on their website:
"International students generally benefit from submitting Subject Tests and should take them if possible as they are unlikely to be admitted on the basis of SAT or ACT alone."
Since my school's curriculum is not recognized, I am worried that my grades (straight A's in math and science) will mean nothing and that even more emphasis will be placed on the tests than normal. Do you have any idea why Harvard stresses these tests more for internationals? I thought that their admissions process did not distinguish between domestic and international applicants. In your opinion should I really take this statement seriously? Do you think because of this I should submit my scores, even if their percentile rankings are low?
Thank you so much, and sorry for the loaded question.