In order to write this essay, it is helpful to take a step back from the sometimes panic-inducing task of focusing on your college applications and instead look around. As you go about your day, maintain awareness of things that ordinarily seem insignificant, to the point that you may be taking them for granted.
For instance, remind yourself of the neighborhood you wake up in every day, the foods available to you for breakfast, and how you feel as you pass through your community on your commute to school. Reflect upon the impact your surroundings have on your day-to-day life and the ways in which they have fostered your personal development. You are probably familiar with your surroundings, to the point where they don’t seem particularly remarkable to you, but you are trying to introduce yourself to an admissions committee that probably knows very little about your hometown.
After reflecting on this exercise, you might realize that your work ethic stems from your gratefulness for the sacrifices your immigrant parents have made in order to give you a chance to succeed, or it could take the shape of your precocious desire to study geriatric medicine and hearing-loss pathologies because you have grown up in a town where the majority of your community is of advanced age.
This thought experiment is the perfect way to start dissecting what it is about your surroundings that has shaped you into the person you are today. Most importantly, it will show your essay reader that you have matured enough to be able to speak about yourself in a frank and vulnerable way. As long as you speak your truth, there is no wrong answer.
That being said, as you tell your story, you will want to avoid clichés and stay true to the complexity of your experience. If you have struggled to overcome obstacles, you don’t need to present yourself as a heroic individual that has achieved success because of your own grit and determination. You can acknowledge the bonds of friendship or family that helped you hold yourself together during tough times. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and indeed having the courage to reach out and the humility to acknowledge your support network is one way to demonstrate maturity.
If you needed to watch after your father while he was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, you might talk about how you had to work with your sister to watch him in the evening, and how sometimes you needed to get out of the house and play soccer with your friends in order to be able to come back inside and commit yourself to the work of care all over again. Maybe that experience is part of what made you want to get into nursing, not only to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, but also to encourage patient’s family members to take care of themselves.
If you describe poignant tales of overcoming hardship and obstacles in your response, that is fine, as long as it is the truth. Some applicants might think that exaggerating their tales will score with admissions officers, but admissions officers are not judging your essay based on the level of hardship you have overcome. Rather, the question they will ask is what you’ve learned from your experiences and what kind of person you will be when you join the Texas A&M community.
One last word: As we’re revising this guide for the 2017 application season, the rains have only just barely stopped falling after Hurricane Harvey. The environmental, economic, and political dynamics of this disaster will be thought about and debated in the coming years as people try to rebuild more resilient cities in a changing climate. The students, faculty, and staff at Texas A&M will be taking part in this conversation.
If you were affected and feel so moved, you can certainly talk about your experience of the storm in your essay, even if you think that a lot of other applicants will also be talking about the storm as well. A major disaster contains a multitude of narratives, and if you focus on the particularities of your experience — what you lost, what you saw, how you imagine going forward — you will be making a contribution to a conversation about Harvey that will continue for years to come.
If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.
The acceptance rate at Texas A&M is 66%. For every 100 applicants, 66 are admitted.
This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools. If you exceed their requirements, you have an excellent chance of getting in. But if you don't, you might be one of the unlucky minority that gets a rejection letter.
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.
The average GPA at Texas A&M is 3.55.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. This school did not officially report its average GPA, but we've estimated it here using data from over 1,000 schools.)
With a GPA of 3.55, Texas A&M requires you to be around average in your high school class. You'll need a mix of A's and B's, and very few C's. If you have a lower GPA, you can compensate with harder courses like AP or IB classes. This will help boost your weighted GPA and show your ability to take college classes.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.55, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Texas A&M. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
Texas A&M SAT Requirements
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.
Average SAT: 1250 (Old: 1741)
The average SAT score composite at Texas A&M is a 1250 on the 1600 SAT scale.
On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1741.
This score makes Texas A&M Competitive for SAT test scores.
Texas A&M SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1130, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1360. In other words, a 1130 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1360 will move you up to above average.
Our experts' guidance in getting tutoring in Houston and beyond can help the Texas A&M fans out there raise their chances of becoming Aggies themselves.
Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Texas A&M SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)
The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1560, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1920. In other words, a 1560 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1920 puts you well above average.
Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
Texas A&M has the Score Choice policy of "All Scores."
This means that Texas A&M requires you to send all SAT scores you've ever taken to their office.
This sounds daunting, but most schools don't actually consider all your scores equally. For example, if you scored an 1300 on one test and a 1500 on another, they won't actually average the two tests.
More commonly, the school will take your highest score on a single test date. Even better, some schools form a Superscore - that is, they take your highest section score across all your test dates and combine them.
Some students are still worried about submitting too many test scores. They're afraid that Texas A&M will look down on too many attempts to raise your score. But how many is too many?
From our research and talking to admissions officers, we've learned that 4-6 tests is a safe number to submit. The college understands that you want to have the best chance of admission, and retaking the test is a good way to do this. Within a reasonable number of tests, they honestly don't care how many times you've taken it. They'll just focus on your score.
If you take it more than 6 times, colleges start wondering why you're not improving with each test. They'll question your study skills and ability to improve.
But below 6 tests, we strongly encourage retaking the test to maximize your chances. If your SAT score is currently below a 1250, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You don't have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
Texas A&M ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, Texas A&M likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.
Average ACT: 27
The average ACT score at Texas A&M is 27. This score makes Texas A&M Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 25, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 30.
Even though Texas A&M likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 25 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.
ACT Score Sending Policy
If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.
Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 27 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.
ACT Superscore Policy
By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.
We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Texas A&M, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 27.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.
Texas A&M hasn't reported their stance on SAT/ACT Writing, but most likely they consider it to be optional. Thus you don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.
SAT Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
We did not find information that Texas A&M requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.
Our Expert's Notes
We did more detailed research into this school and found the following information.
There are three ways to be admitted to Texas A&M:
- Automatically admitted if you live in Texas and are in the top 10% of your class at the time of your application.
- Automatically admitted if you complete all of Texas A&M's required coursework, rank in the top 25% of your class at the time of application, and have an SAT score of at least 1300 (Math and Critical Reading) with each component at least 600, or an ACT composite of 30 with at least a 27 in English and Math.
- 3. If you don't meet either of the above, but meet the State of Texas Uniform Admission Policy (SAT of at least 1500 total, ACT of at least 18 English, 22 Reading, 22 Mathematics and 23 Science, plus successful completion of recommended high school classes), your application will be reviewed holistically, in other words, your essays, extracurriculars, and other information will all be considered.