SAT 1 – What is it? Advice from Kathy Compagnon

The SAT I is a multiple choice general skills math, English language and writing exam administered by The College Board and given seven times during the school year. The tests are graded on a scale of 800 each; a score of 700+ is desirable; 650-700 should be acceptable depending on the other elements of your dossier. Practice does make perfect.

You can register for the SAT I on line at While you may take the test as many times as you wish, most people stop at three, and you should plan three opportunities, starting in Premiere, into your overall scheme. Traditionally, the university admissions committees retained only your highest scores from each exam, but received all scores nonetheless; there is a new option, Score Choice, whereby you would send only one complete score, but the jury is still out on which universities will accept that option.

You do need to prepare this exam; lycee students are not accustomed to the multiple-choice format, math vocabulary needs to be acquired, and speed and accuracy are essential. You should use the summer vacation to practice, and take the exam in October of 1ere. Practice books are available from Kaplan, The College Board or Amazon. There are also many prep programs you can find on line. Some people opt for private tutors; group study and consistent individual practice are also effective. Figure out what works for you. If you do opt for tutoring, make sure it is effective!


(Taken from « US Universities – A Guide », by Kathy Compagnon at

TOEFL and SAT Requirements for the US

Kathy Compagnon, at, a US counsellor based in France who has helped many Florimont students apply successfully to top US universities, writes the following:

TOEFL – Or Test of English as a Foreign Language, is basically a grammar and usage test, administered by ETS (Educational Testing Services) and you can sign up on line at Officially, most schools require that applicants whose native language and language of tuition is NOT English pass this exam. However, most will accept SAT I verbal scores of 600+ or 650+, depending on the school, in lieu.

IELTS is also acceptable. Scores should be at the high end. Check with each school.

If you have very low SAT scores, work to get top marks on the TOEFL as many schools will use it in place of or at least to calm the effects of low SATs in reading and writing (you have no excuse in math!).

IELTS in 1ère

If you are planning to apply to a UK or US university and need IELTS, you should  now identify a test date in Geneva (see Ielts) as well as a preparation day in Bern the week before.  Plan out when and how often you are going to take advantage of the 30 hour online course they give you when you register.  Obviously, you need to register to do this.  All this information is at – absolutely invaluable!

US Style Degree Courses in the UK

UCL have already introduced a liberal arts degree, it’s called ‘Arts and Sciences
They may be looking to attract students who have a broader secondary education.
Kings College London have a similar programme called, ‘Liberal Art
As it stands at the moment, they are the only two institutions offering this.
Durham has broad based, social science, arts and science programmes.
Scotland also gives more breadth, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc.