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USAMO and College Admissions

everliving48everliving48 Posts: 22Registered User New Member
edited June 2012 in Harvard University
Hi everyone,
Does making USAMO almost guarantee an admission to top colleges?

[probably not, but I'd like to know to what extent it does]
Post edited by everliving48 on
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Replies to: USAMO and College Admissions

  • imntwoimntwo Posts: 126Registered User Junior Member
    It's a nice accomplishment at the national level. We've seen that IMO doesn't even guarantee admission though.
  • etondadetondad Posts: 1,120Registered User Senior Member
    Nothing "guarantees" admission-- not winning Intel, playing at Carnegie Hall, being in the Olympics--but Harvard like to see that an applicant is passionate and has married passion with ability and demonstrated excellence-- USAMO is one way to do so. But USAMO by itself is insufficient --Now if one was the Gold medal winner of the IMO---that--that will make a reader sit up and take notice--but not even that guarantees admissions.
  • AkimboModel1887AkimboModel1887 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    I made USAMO but got waitlisted at Harvard/Northwestern and rejected from Yale/UPenn/Stanford, though I did get into UChicago, Cornell, and Dartmouth.

    I don't know anyone else who has made USAMO because it's so rare.
  • WongTongTongWongTongTong Posts: 2,734Registered User Senior Member
    Winning Intel is a different story, Etondad.


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using CC app
  • everliving48everliving48 Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    Etondad, as I mentioned in my post I realize that nothing guarantees admission.

    I want to know whether making USAMO would be better than, say, attending MIT Primes or taking linear algebra and complex analysis in high school.
  • cortana431cortana431 Posts: 5,015- Senior Member
    USAMO doesn't guarantee admission but it certainly boosts your application; particularly if you make it more than once and do well and maybe advance to MOP.

    And yeah, winning Intel might be the trump card of awards.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Posts: 6,573Registered User Senior Member
    I made USAMO but got waitlisted at Harvard/Northwestern and rejected from Yale/UPenn/Stanford, though I did get into UChicago, Cornell, and Dartmouth.

    I don't know anyone else who has made USAMO because it's so rare.

    This is what happens when Northwestern hires Princeton's old Dean of Admission.
  • imntwoimntwo Posts: 126Registered User Junior Member
    everliving48: "Does making USAMO almost guarantee an admission to top colleges?"

    everliving48: "Etondad, as I mentioned in my post I realize that nothing guarantees admission."

    But that said, those are all nice accomplishments, if you can tie it all together. If you can't, well, they're still nice accomplishments. Anyway, they tend to be fairly correlated. There will be more than a few applicants with USAMO, advanced coursework, *and* MIT RSI (or primes, whatever that is). History shows they're not all going to get in. And why would you trade off among them based on a hypothetical admissions advantage, instead of which excites you more?
  • frtianfrtian Posts: 31Registered User Junior Member
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I made USAMO but got waitlisted at Harvard/Northwestern and rejected from Yale/UPenn/Stanford, though I did get into UChicago, Cornell, and Dartmouth.

    I don't know anyone else who has made USAMO because it's so rare.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Did you make USAMO in 2011?

    To apply for colleges in 2012, qualifying for USAMO in 2011 is best.
    To qualify for USAMO in 2010 but not in 2011 doesn't look good.
  • AkimboModel1887AkimboModel1887 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    I qualified for USAMO in 2010.

    Last year I did the AMC and qualified for AIME, but then I was out of town for both of the testing dates due to spring break and science fair. I explained all of that in my application, though I can see how they still might not have liked it.

    Either way I don't care because I like Dartmouth and that's where I'm going.
  • bobtheboybobtheboy Posts: 2,216Registered User Senior Member
    Most USAMO people I know have gone to HPSMC (C = Caltech), (H, M, C, S, P, in order) but there are a couple I know at Berkeley, and I have heard of others going to many other colleges. I started a thread about this in the College Search & Selection board.
  • etondadetondad Posts: 1,120Registered User Senior Member
    According to my son, there seems --at least in 55-- to be a real division between the Olympiad and the advanced college course types-- he can even tell by looking at their proofs which of the two camps classmates come from. Now he is Olympiad trained and has a prejudice (and admits it is a prejudice...) toward that background, but both do very well indeed in higher mathematics.

    bobtheboy--soon you may have to add Williams to that list as I saw that they beat out even Princeton in the Putnam (came in 10th). Their math department is amazing--my D will be going there in the fall so I have been watching them for the past few months and have been very impressed.
  • 4thfloor4thfloor Posts: 697Registered User Member
    ^^ Etondad, what is the division between the Olympiad and the advanced college course types? And for those who are both, on which side of the division do they end up?
  • etondadetondad Posts: 1,120Registered User Senior Member
    I'll ask him -- he has mentioned it to me on several occasions, but I'll ask him to be more specific (actually he has but I can't recall it with sufficient clarity to repeat it here). And I'll ask him about those who have both...

    He is traveling for a few days so I'll post once I speak with him...
  • laticheverlatichever Posts: 1,056Registered User Senior Member
    ^^etondad. I'm very interested in the advanced course type vs. Olympiad types issue. Is there really a divide? Wouldn't many of the Olympiad students also take advanced courses? Are the advanced course tuoes more likely to do RSI? And, admissions aside, which path is better for the development of a mathematician? My son after his first year of high school is trying to make this decision--whether to graduate high school with several 300 level courses at the local Ivy, or competiton, or both.
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