About the SAT?

Question:im going to become grade 11 and i was just wondering,

-if i stil have time to study for the SAT,
because a lot of my friends already have enrolled or is currently in SAT prep courses.

also, in order to get into a good american university,
-how much extracurricular activities do i possibly have to do? i know it might sound silly, but to go into universities like ivy league universities like harvard or yale.

in addition, i have tried for student council but, it always seem like a popularity contest. Also, do i have to do go through great measures like go to the war zone and help the poor, to get into those universiies?
- what can i do, things that i can do without going overboard my limits, to write on my resume?

answeing these questions would mean a lot to me, i'm not one of those straight A students however, i think if i know what to do, i can challenge myself to do other things that can possibly bolster me into achieving my goal :)
thank you

Answers:
You have a chance. Not everyone who goes to Harvard is any or all of the following: Student Council President, Valedictorian, World Class Scientist, Olympic Athlete, Prom Queen, etc.

I just got into Harvard (Class of 2011) this past year, so I have an idea of what it takes (no one knows. a lot of luck is in fact involved.). Definitely pursue extracurriculars that interest you, keep a strong academic record (tough courses, high grades, high SATs) and do a lot of community service.

As was stated, you must prove how you can contribute to the campus (consider the admissions committee's perspective). In my case I started a volunteer core of tutors to prepare disadvantaged students for the SAT. It showed initiative and commitment to others--and no one else had this. They might be looking for someone who plays a certain instrument, is strong in poetry or just fits a certain mold. They want diversity so one way or another, you have to prove your value as an individual. I answer questions like these and provide online SAT prep at INeedAPencil.com--check it out.

And yes, you definitely have time to prepare for and take the SAT. Most students take the SAT for the first time in spring of 11th grade, study over summer before 12th grade and then test again once or twice before submitting college applications in fall/winter of 12th grade.
Colleges are looking out for what you are going to bring to their campus, so they really like extracurriculars (Think talents/abilities that can really separate you from others). Don't overestimate their importance, however, because your academic track record is still crucial, especially to Ivy League schools.
As far as SATs go, they are important, but certainly not the end-all-be-all of the admissions officers' decisions. I didn't start prepping until a couple months before I took it, because spending months preparing for it was neither appealing nor practical. Remember that you can take the test up to around December of your senior year to meet admissions deadlines. Obviously, its not a good idea to wait until the last minute, but you have plenty of time to retake the test again if you aren't happy with the scores the first time.
Bottom line, invest in a handful of extracurriculars that interest you and possibly correlate with your college/career plans. However, if those extracurriculars start affecting your academic performance, lighten up your load.

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