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Skywalker23's lessons learned.

Skywalker23Skywalker23 780 replies121 postsRegistered User Member
This is just a thread for me to post things I've learned from my admissions experience and for us to discuss what I did wrong/right, anything you disagree with, etc.

I also plan to refer a lot of underclassmen at my school to this thread whenever they ask me for college tips, etc. If you're reading this for hints, I know it's really hard to trust me, especially when I say not to do something, or that something doesn't matter, but too bad :)

I'll probably just be posting random anecdotes of varying length, one-sentence tips, or stream of consciousness thoughts whenever I think of them, so don't expect too much organization.

ESSAYS: I know it's really hard to write essays during the summer. But considering that you're on CC, you probably have a very busy schedule with numerous AP classes. Decide at least a few colleges you plan on applying to for sure over the summer, and write the essays for them.

VISITING: If you decide to be serious about applying for a school, visit it if possible. Visiting tells you so much more than you could ever expect to get from talking to alumni or visiting the school website or CC. In addition, it gets you fired up and more enthusiastic about that particular school. Unless it's too far away (and thus too expensive to travel), visit every school you are interested in. I didn't make a trip to the northeast at all, and thus didn't visit any of the Ivies, or MIT. I bet the fact that I didn't get into any of them has something to do with that.

INTERVIEWS: Some schools will offer you interviews. To my interviews, I wore a button-up shirt, a jacket, and jeans. I think I was on target clothing wise. The interview itself is not important at all in the admissions decision. Don't be afraid to have a little fun, and just say whatever comes to mind. Do not try to have ready-made answers, it will be obvious if you do. I had amazing interviews at Penn and Princeton. I didn't get into either. I had an okay interview at MIT and didn't get in. I was disappointed at my Northwestern interview, but I got in. Don't worry about the interview.
edited April 2010
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Replies to: Skywalker23's lessons learned.

  • Skywalker23Skywalker23 780 replies121 postsRegistered User Member
    SAT IIs: I didn't hear much about the SAT IIs, probably because I live in the midwest. If a school you're interested in requires the SAT II, make sure you find out which ones you need to take, plan on taking them early! I had to take both of my Subject Tests (Math and Chem) in the Fall. It wasn't fun.

    ACT: Relax during the test, and do not be nervous, so you will have a clearer mind. The morning of, wake up at least an hour before the test is scheduled to begin, so your brain has time to warm up. Eat something you like. On the reading and science sections, most of the questions are literal. Do not go searching for a deeper meaning, and choose the answer that most closely reflects what was said in the test. On the math section, speed through the first 2/3 of the test (the easy questions), so you have a lot of time for the last 1/3 of the test (the harder questions). The book I recommend most is Barron's ACT 36, in combination with a book of practice tests. Do not get Princeton Review's 1296 ACT Questions. There are a lot of typos.
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  • sneva831sneva831 52 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    do you think getting offered an interview meant i had an outside chance, or do they give those to everyone in an area with an interviewer? i would imagine schools wouldn't waste time and e-mails on students who were far below their academic and extracurricular standard to begin with.

    i was just wondering because i was rejected from harvard, yale, columbia, MIT, and brown and i had interviews with the first four. yale and columbia were fabulous, harvard was ok, MIT was not so good. i know they don't have an impact on admissions, but basically i'm trying to figure out if i was aiming too high by applying to those or if they were possible i just didn't cut it this year.
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