FOLLOWING their recent successes at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), Fatima Karim and Ashley Anthony have scored positions in a few of the top-tier universities in the United States.
Karim, currently an Upper Sixth form student at Queen’s College and 2016’s top CSEC performer, was able to gain admission into the Princeton and Stanford Universities.
Though preparing to sit her second and final set of CAPE exams, the top performer opted to apply to universities early, so that she could dive right into furthering her studies without pause.
Speaking to the Guyana Chronicle, she said excitedly, “When I got into Princeton I was so sure that this is where I was going, and then boom, a day later I got into Stanford.”
Intent on studying chemical engineering, the young woman related that both universities are amazing and choosing which one she will attend will be a difficult decision.
With Princeton as an acclaimed Ivy League institution and Stanford as a leading research institution, the choice would definitely be a tough one. Fatima, however, mentioned that based on the curriculum offered and what she expects from her university experience, she is leaning more towards Stanford.
In fact, she highlighted that Stanford was one of her two first choices alongside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to which she unfortunately was not granted admission, but she holds firm that “everything happens for a reason”.
A CBS News report indicated that the acceptance rate for Stanford was the lowest in its history with the university’s admission office detailing that it accepted 2,040 students out of a pool of 47,450 applicants from around the world. So it is definitely remarkable that Karim copped a spot. She was also granted admission into the New York University (NYU).
Whichever route Karim decides to take — Princeton or Stanford — she knows that ultimately she must return to Guyana.
“I think Guyana needs our engineers, so I would be proud to come back and assist in the country’s development at this crucial point,” she stressed.
Also admitted to another high-profile US university, Yale, is recent CSEC and CAPE top performer, Ashley Anthony.
Hoping to study Biomolecular Physics/ Chemistry, Anthony recounted that while she was elated about getting into Yale, her mother actually fell out of bed upon hearing the good news.
“Yale was definitely among one of my top choices,” she said, while relating that she sent about 18 applications in total to universities like Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins.
Ashley is also already set on continuing her academic pursuits, even after she graduates in 2022 by going after her Masters and Doctorate Degrees, but also acknowledged that she will definitely return to Guyana.
Seeking to work in research, however, presents a small problem, since there are not too many jobs available here. She nevertheless said, “I am hoping to get the best possible education, so that I can then invest in Guyanese. Even if it isn’t with direct service, I can invest resources, provided I become successful enough.”
For prospective applicants, Karim sought to explain the application process. She noted that most of the universities, though there are a few exceptions such as NYU, require the Scholastic Assessment Tests (SATs) and the top-tier colleges may require the specific-subject tests.
Since she is aiming to pursue chemical engineering, she did the Chemistry SAT, and scored a perfect 800 (full marks) and the General SATs, in which she scored 1520 out of a possible 1600.
“For the top universities these scores are just the start,” she stated. “After you pass these grade requirements, the next important things are your [extracurricular activities] and your essays.” She said, “Personally, I think they care more about these.”
Locally, Karim highlighted that persons can sign up for the SATs online and sit the examinations at the Georgetown International Academy (GIA), or at the North Georgetown Secondary School.
The School of the Nations and the New Guyana School are also local institutions that offer SAT preparation courses and the examinations.