Hey, I would like to know what are my chances of get into CalTech/MIT, I am Brazilian..
SAT score: 800math/750cr/700
EC´s: Tennis(good), Model United Nations, Math Olympics
My grades are kind of 8,5 in Brazil it is good, but my first bimester was not very good some issues with tennis, so I have gotten 7 in maths, chemistry, physics. But in the second one I have gotten 9,66 maths, 9 chemistry, 7,4 physics.
100 hours of volunteer, excellent recomendation letters and essays. I know calculus.
I also would like to know one more thing, I am on my freshman year, my school doesn t offer the IB nor the AP(brazilian school), but have a school that is kind of 1 hour far that offers the IB, do you think that I should change of school? Does the IB REALLY help? What can I do to improve my curriculum? Are my grades too low?(Because in Brazil, I am in a hard school and 8,5 put me in number 3 of 66, should I change of school to delete this low grades, and get high grades on IB?) Do the transcript of grades counts a lot? Will tennis help me to get into or I should focus more on the academic way?
The reason nobody is answering is that international admissions are unbelievably selective, more so that US admissions and that nobody can give an estimate of your chances beyond the simple fact that they will be very, very low.
It is hard often for internationals to understand, but test scores and transcripts are only one the factors used by MIT to assess applicants, and not always the most important especially for internationals. It is very hard for MIT to compare transcripts across countries, and SAT scores are not determinant. IB, no IB, A levels, baccalaureats, the profiles are as varied as the applicants. Also, MIT applicants are generally highly self-selecting: only the very dedicated apply. The application is also different from other schools, it requires an interview, there is no essay to speak of, no laundry list of ECs, very specific questions.
What is clear is that a high proportion of international applicants are academic superstars: IMO medalists, award winning researchers, and equivalent. You just to look through some of the threads on admitted applicants on this forum to get a feel. So, improving your curriculum or grades will not do much because all the other international applicants will all have outstanding transcripts. You generally have to have achieved something of significance in the area of science or technology that makes you stand out from a sea of highly qualified applicants.
I think that Cellardweller is painting too grim a picture. I am an international EC, and the regional chair of my educational council, and so I have met quite a few admitted international students over the years. And the truth of it is that the large majority of admitted international students have not published research, won international medals, or achieved any other similiar recognition. Some have, but most have not. The simple truth is that what MIT is looking for in international applicants is exactly what it is looking for in domestic applications, and that is: The Match Between You And MIT | MIT Admissions