m (University of Kent)
Line 173: Line 173:
[ Kent source page - US applicants]
[ Kent source page - US applicants]
=== Undergraduate ===
For entry to a Kent undergraduate degree programme, US students typically need to have:
For entry to a Kent undergraduate degree programme, US students typically need to have:
* A High School Graduation Diploma with a minimum final GPA of 3.2/4.0
* A High School Graduation Diploma with a minimum final GPA of 3.2/4.0

Revision as of 01:30, March 19, 2019


Some UK students have taken American university entrance tests in the UK, and used these to gain entry to UK universities. It is cheaper than taking A-levels as an external candidate, and some who have done it feel that it is less work, if you apply to a university which will accept SATs plus a High School Diploma. Other universities require Advanced Placement Tests, and some feel these end up being as much hassle as A-levels. If your heart is set on a particular course or a particular uni, then check carefully before taking this path to ensure that the university will accept these qualifications from a UK applicant. But if you do not have time to complete A-levels, or cannot find an exam centre to accommodate your options, then this may be a way to demonstrate what you can do and get to university.

Durham University equivalence table for A-level grades and USA qualifications.

Many UK universities list entrance requirements for US applicants; look for their section for international applicants. Some examples are in the section on UK Universities' Info for US Applicants. Most of them are quite specific in what they require - either APs, SAT subject tests etc.

A number of home-educated children have gone to Scottish universities via this route; because Scottish degrees are four years as standard, they dovetail better with the US system than the usual three-year degree elsewhere in the UK.

Durham University has produced a helpful equivalence table which shows how their requirements for applicants with US qualifications compare to A-levels.

Comments from an experienced home -educator whose children have taken this route:

US Universities generally require entrance exams scores (SAT or ACT) in addition to a high school diploma. Home educated students in America usually went about getting a diploma in a couple ways:

  1. By keeping track of their courses the last 4 or odd years (high school years) and issuing their own or one by an online high school
  1. Getting a GED (a test taken that is equivalent to a diploma - though it is not generally looked upon as highly, so having other skills like extracurricular activities is a plus).

Note that University applications are not the same in the US as in the UK. There is no standardised application system. Each University handles applications however they want but many have begun to welcome home educated students.

Case Studies

M has three children who bypassed GCSEs and A-levels, and instead applied to university with American SATs:

Both my girls took the US College Board SAT, bypassing both GCSEs and College..My daughter was just accepted straight into university to study for an honours degree in Applied Biology and Zoology. Another was accepted for an honours degree in English.  My son did not want to go to college to gain qualifications because he feels passionately about his home education and always knew he had been educated to university standard, so we set about contacting universities of his choice in order to ascertain what was required for entry. They all said they would accept US college board SAT scores and so we worked towards that. This is a much cheaper option as it does not require individual exams but rather one exam testing, Math and English. It costs $85 and books can be purchased cheaply from Amazon and even better this year practice tests and study aids are all free on Khan academy. My son applied through UCAS and was accepted straight in university based on his scores and was even offered full merit scholarships to universities in the US.

Most unis list the entry requirements on their websites now. Because the applications are being submitted through UCAS, my children have never been questioned as to why they have SAT scores, the universities just accepted them. In this last case,.. I called them first to ensure they knew her place would be funded through SAAS (the Scottish funding agency) and also that they knew ( being very nice about it of course) how to apply SAT scores. When she then submitted her UCAS application, the university offered her a place within days.

My other daughter who is going to Stirling university to study English, simply completed the UCAS application and was offered her place without any contact.

How you are doing / using SATS? Is it possible to do it for a year as an alternative to Advanced Scottish Highers?
You mention books what are these called? Where do you have a syllabus or past papers ?
With SATS do you get treated as an overseas student?

 I really don't think you would need a full year to prepare for SAT's. Have a look on Khan Academy, my girls have found that invaluable for test prep. Test prep books can be purchased on Amazon and unfortunately the college board redesigned the test in March of this year so there are no past papers as such to go on but my son says the questions look much the same as the test he took two years ago. All of the work is covered on Khan Academy where it can be done for free. They also let you write an  essay for the essay part ( which is no longer compulsory for the new SAT) and send it to them for marking. We bought this book which my daughters liked for the information it had on the essay in addition to the explanations.

As far as university applications, yes you are treated like an international student in regards to the application. We completed the UCAS form as usual, listed the subjects we had covered ( we use a US Catholic home study school) and the grades. Then in the qualification parts we listed my son's SAT score ( he received unconditional offers from Stirling, GCU, Dundee based on his  score) and in my daughter's case we completed it saying she is due to sit SATs this year and she has received conditional offers subject to achieving the required SAT score. My son is studying Psychology and my daughter will be studying English.

For us, it is a much much cheaper option and I honestly believe that due to the English skills my children have learned by doing learning this way, they are much better prepared for university than were my older school educated children.

SATs are not study courses like GCSEs, but are rather tests to let the universities ascertain what level of competency the student has reached. SATs are merely meet an entry criteria for universities that satisfy them that the student has the capabilities for the course. That's why I always recommend trying some practice tests and if the student does well on them or has worked through Kahn Academy prep which is free, then for $85, it is by far a much cheaper route than a whole lot of individual GCSE's. It does not take the place of studying courses, it only limits what the student is tested. 

Discussion from the group

Comment from S:

All the information required for SAT subject tests - topics covered etc is found on the CollegeBoard website.  Practice tests are available on various websites.

We looked into SAT subject tests when DD was midway through IGCSEs.

There are a couple of things to check first before going down the path.

Firstly whether your student's prospective universities are going to accept them.  Second, and what I found most frustrating, was finding a test centre.  There are 27 centres in England listed on the CB website search engine. Of the eleven/twelve schools I rang only one would accept a candidate that was not a student at their own school. I gave up after that.

The curriculum required for each subject, is what is normally offered in an honours level high school subject in the USA.  There are booklets available on Amazon for all the subjects. The range of subjects is pretty limited - there are 20 subjects and 12 of them are languages.

It seems many UK universities accept the SATs for admission but not in isolation. As always with anything 'different' it pays to check the small print.

A quick look at some major universities' admission pages reveal that most seem to want a lot more than the SAT1 results. There are SAT subject tests which are similar to AS/A level tests other than the prevalence of multiple choice questions (which the USA seem to favour). The subject tests cannot be taken on the same day as the SAT1 tests and there are different dates for different subject tests so a single morning of exams doesn't look promising.

If children have a university/Further Ed path in mind, it is best to check first what that institution requires and reverse-engineer the process so you can give the University what it wants.

There is a document somewhere on the CIE website which lists which US universities will take students with just IGCSEs.  The list is quite extensive and from recollection there were some surprising names on the list.

Comment from K:

A few years ago we looked into the possibility of following an American programme rather than IGSEs , as sitting SATS seemed a much easier way to get a child into Uni, but we were not keen on what came before that, i.e. achieving a High School Diploma. We felt that GCSE qualifications would be more useful both in terms of employment in the UK (even just Saturday jobs) or in the case of a child who chose not to go to Uni but instead wanted to take an apprenticeship (as my two oldest sons, to our surprise, ended up doing in order to avoid debt from Uni). My question is, would you say the HSD is a necessary pre-requisite to the SATS, or might someone take GCSEs and then swap? Just wondering how flexible it is to move between the two.

Also, we looked at Oxford entry requirements (DS 3 is keen on a course there) and from what I can gather, at least three excellent AP or SAT subject results are required in addition to the general SATS score. Our thinking was, that sounds pretty much like 3 A level subjects, and A levels seem easier, practically speaking, to achieve than the US equivalents.

Comment from one member:

It is really tricky to work it out, and I've come to the conclusion that a high school diploma without accreditation isn't worth as much. It seems that it's worth even less without SATs and subject tests. It's a problem to gain recognition (and credits) for previous work (ie. IGCSEs), and an accredited diploma, if you haven't done the full 4 years of US high school with a physical or an on-line high school accredited school. So far all the Unis I've contacted (Dundee, Sterling, Edinburgh) have wanted: An Accredited High School Dip, SATs and 2 subject tests....


I agree that without other proof, universities here would not accept a parental diploma. However, in some cases the SAT scores are the other proof they require. For instance for a psychology degree and English degree, the universities my children were accepted for, cared more about their SAT scores. For my other daughter who is starting her degree in Applied Biology and Zoology, we had to have her diploma in addition to her SAT scores. I did however find it interesting that they did not ask specifically for her science grades!

For us, it has been a much easier route to take.

Another comment:

Had a very interesting chat with a local veteran home-edder, who told me that her oldest (now mid-20s) sat the American SATs in London , to apply for UK university entry.  He did not have any other qualifications and they felt that the SATs were assessing potential rather than having covered a course, so it sounded like a shortcut to uni entry. He sat the tests (English, maths, reasoning) with only a couple of months' preparation, and phoned round unis.  Many dismissed the idea straight away, but one asked him to come for a chat and then offered him a place to start that year, even though he was only 17 and had been enquiring about the following year !

UK Universities' Information for US Applicants

Most UK universities have information for US applicants which is easy to find. Search for the university name plus 'USA applicants'. Often they will publish entry requirements for standard 3-year degrees, and also for 4-year 'Associate' or 'Foundation' degrees. These have an additional year to get students ready for the regular degree course, for people who don't have the standard entry requirements - eg they may have come from a country where they finish high school aged 17, or may not have got the grades they needed.

Here is a selection of examples - chosen at random. For comparison purposes you can look them up on The Times Higher Education rankings.

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth information for US applicants

Minimum final GPA of 3.0-3.2 (depending on subject to be studied)


SAT 1100+ (minimum 550 in Maths and 550 Evidence-Based Reading & Writing)


ACT Composite scores of 25 (depending on the subject to be studied)

To include either of the following or combination of:

Minimum of 2 SAT subjects with scores of 550+ (subject specific requirements for some degree programmes)

Minimum of 2 AP tests with scores of 3+ (subject specific requirements for some degree programmes)

Bristol University

Bristol University  :

We will consider applicants with the following:

A High School Diploma (or equivalent) with a GPA of 3.2 minimum (3.4 for competitive courses)

and a total of THREE in any combination from the following list:

(N.B. Each AP counts towards the THREE. E.g. 3 AP's OR 2 AP's and 1x SAT I is acceptable)

  • SAT I with a minimum of 650 in both elements (630 in 3x elements pre March 2016 SAT)
  • ACT with a minimum score of 24
  • Any AP subject(s) with a score of at least 4 (more commonly 5)*
  • A full year Honors level course at B+ or a full year college level course at B+ or better. 

Durham University

Durham International Applicants - Undergraduate Degrees

See the equivalence table from Durham at the top of this page.

For example -


AAA A combination of 3 or 4 AP or SAT Subject examinations at scores of 5 (AP) and/or 700+ or better (SAT) in different subjects. If students apply with 4 APs they can have the score of 5,5,4,4, otherwise they need 5,5,5.

University of East Anglia - UEA

UEA source page for US applicants

High School Graduate Diploma & AP Exams

Holders of a US High School Diploma alongside 3-5 AP Exams will be considered for direct admission to Undergraduate Degree courses. For details of subject and grade requirements; use the table below to compare our A level requirements to the US High School Diploma and AP Exams. The number of AP Exams required will be variable depending on the course and the combination of AP Exams being undertaken.

SATs, ACTs and SAT Subject Tests

We welcome applicants who are able to present SAT and/or ACT qualifications in support of their application, alongside one or more of the options noted above. Please contact our Admissions Team if you need any further information.

(NOTE: these are general guidelines only; requirements for entry may vary depending on competitiveness of particular programmes.)

Glasgow University

Glasgow University US entry requirements

US curriculum

Method 1

  •  SAT: 1280 or ACT: 27 AND
  • 2 AP examinations (in relevant subjects): 4+ or 2 SAT subject tests (in relevant subjects): 600+

Method 2:

  • 3 AP examinations (in relevant subjects): 4+ or 3 SAT subject tests (in relevant subjects): 600+

Greenwich University

University of Greenwich information for applicants from USA

For standard entry to our Bachelor's programmes, you will need to have met the following:

  • High School Diploma (GPA 3.0) 
  • ACT - 24 or higher 


  •            AP-3 or above in 2 advanced placement tests                           


  •              SATR (Pre-March 2016 -1650/ Post-March 2016 -1100                                                     

For entry to our four-year extended degree programmes, you will need to have met the following:

  • High School Diploma with a minimum CGPA 2.5
  • ACT - 20 or higher


  • AP-3 or above in advanced placement tests


  • SATR (Pre-March 2016 -1360/ Post-March 2016 -480{Reading& Writing})    

University of Kent

Kent source page - US applicants

For entry to a Kent undergraduate degree programme, US students typically need to have:

  • A High School Graduation Diploma with a minimum final GPA of 3.2/4.0

PLUS one of the following:

  • SAT with a score of between 1290 – 1380 depending on the subject you are applying for OR
  • ACT with a score of between 27-29 depending on the subject you are applying for OR
  • 3 SAT Subject Tests with scores of between 600-700 depending on the subject you are applying for OR
  • 2 Advanced Placement (AP) tests with scores of between 4-5 depending on the subject you are applying for

Applicants will also be considered with the following:

  • A combination of SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement (AP) tests.
  • An Associate Degree with a GPA of at least 3.2/4.0
  • 1 or 2 years of a US Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.2/4.0
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma and Certificates as per standard University of Kent requirements
  • College-level classes/honors classes on a case-by-case basis

London Metropolitan University

London Met Source for US students

High School Diploma with B in relevant subjects and a Cumulative Grade Point Average of  B (3.0) and one of the qualifications below:

  • SAT 1 with 600+ in the maths, critical reading and writing. Sat scores range from 200-800
  • ACT (American College Test) instead of SAT 1 with composite score value of 25
  • Advanced Placement Tests 3 passes with grade 3 and above (4 or 5) in relevant subjects
  • GED (General Education Development Programme) with minimum score of 410 in each of five tests (max score 800, min pass grade 200)

London School of Economics (LSE)

Equivalency of the Advanced Placement (AP) tests with GCE A levels

Below we have listed our various A level grade requirements and their equivalency in the Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Please note that the US High School Diploma by itself (without AP courses) is not sufficient for entry to LSE.

A level grade  Equivalent in the Advanced Placement (AP) tests
A*AA, AAA Five APs at grade 5, taken over a maximum of three years and a minimum High School Diploma GPA 3.7

Subjects may be specified as part of an offer. See the note below about subject combinations.

AAB Three APs at grade 5, and two APs at grade 4, taken over a maximum of three years, and a minimum High School Diploma GPA of 3.7

Subjects may be specified as part of an offer. See the note below about subject combinations.

Mathematics A*/A Calculus BC grade 5

Subject combinations

AP Seminar and AP Research are excluded and do not count towards our AP requirement.

Only one of AP Calculus AB or Calculus BC may count towards an offer. For programmes requiring A level Mathematics, only Calculus BC is acceptable.

Applicants should also bear in mind our general preference for a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be offered.

AP Languages and Culture courses may be excluded where students have significant prior exposure to that language.

AP Cambridge Capstone Program

LSE does not consider this programme as part of its minimum entry requirements for American AP exams.

The SAT Reasoning Test (formally called Scholastic Aptitude Tests)

The SAT Reasoning Test does not form part of any entry requirement for LSE programmes.

The ACT (American College Testing)

The ACT does not form part of any entry requirement for LSE programmes.

Stirling University

Source: Stirling page for US applicants.

We normally require US applicants to hold a combination of the qualifications for entry.  As a minimum, applicants must hold an accredited high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale, minimum B average), one letter of reference, plus one of the following:

  • ACT composite score of 26 or above (with no individual section below 24)
  • SAT - Post March 2016: Score 1200
  • Two AP tests at grade 3 or above (taken in junior or senior year of high school)
  • Two SAT II subject tests with 550-600 in each.

Sussex University

Source: Sussex page

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subjects with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher).

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

University of the West of England (UWE)

UWE Entry onto undergraduate programmes - USA

You will be considered for first year entry with a GPA of 3.0 out of 4 in a High School Graduation Diploma (HSGD) plus one of the following:

  • SATR (SAT I) with a minimum score of 1050 out of 1600
  • ACT with a minimum score of 21
  • 2 AP Tests with minimum scores of 3
  • 2 SAT Subject Tests with minimum scores of 550
  • 3 Honours or College Level classes with grades B or higher
  • 30 Community College Credits with a minimum GPA of 2.7 out of 4.0

The scores listed above are the minimum requirement for entrance to UWE Bristol, competitive programmes require higher scores.

Some of our courses require pre-requisite subject knowledge. This must be evidenced via relevant AP tests, SAT Subject Tests, Honours or College level classes.

More Information

UCAS explanation of American Advanced Placement (AP) exams

UCAS explanation of American SATs

Facebook support group for applying to uni with US SATs

This is a good page about doing US qualifications as well as UK ones:

If you are planning to use the US system, particularly for US universities, then Lee Binz is your go to advisor:

  • The HomeScholar Helper Blog - Helping Parents Homeschool High School –