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I am highschool soph...teach me ur lessons learned that relate! Am I on track?

lzrcannonlzrcannon 29 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I want to go IVY or similar schools (Stanford, MIT, ect.) Can anyone help me by suggesting things to do to improve chances and tell me if I am on track? Knowing some stuff to do, specific EC's, tips all help! And also...please don't think I am bragging...I am really not trying to be conceited...I just want to give you info so you can help me! I need to maximize chances and I actually have some time to put your ideas into action. Thanks :)

Here are my "Stats" so you can get an idea of who i am and direct me accordingly. You do not have to read this if you have a general tip.

Currently a HS Sophmore

Took SATs: 2350 (770 math, 800 reading, 780 writing)...the highlight of my application but very typical at Harvard. ;(
Enrolled in 3 AP classes this year

GPA: hoping for 4.5 gpa this year b/c second semester isnt out yet

I have 125 hours or so over the course of last summer...over 100 is for a cancer organization

clubs-8 clubs

No leadership positions...=(.....yet

EC's: swimming...(2 yrs) No awards so not helpful? Might drop to take 5 AP's next year...

Band (4 yrs of experience)....but need space in schedule to take 5 AP's this year...i am average at a public schools= no help

Only one award...community service award-for doing over 100 hours in a summer.

I Wanna become engineer....maybe bio-engineering?

I want to take 5 AP's to get 8 AP's done by junior year so I can get a National AP scholar award...classes I chose are pretty fun (except english...but I need it in college) and I can't decide which one to eliminate.

I am Asian...ethnicity might make it tough? Do you guys no any competitions a "science, math guy" can go to? Any EC's that you know?Sorry this is super long....
edited May 2010
13 replies
Post edited by lzrcannon on
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Replies to: I am highschool soph...teach me ur lessons learned that relate! Am I on track?

  • sneva831sneva831 52 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    well, from my experience, asian won't help much :P sorry

    BUT, if you want to go into those fields, DEFINITELY get a summer internship doing research. i know people who did and they're going to ivies. i mean, obviously not the only thing, but i'm preeetty sure it helps quite a bit.

    maybe try to jump ahead a year in math

    quit some of the 8 clubs, whittle it down to like the 4-5 that you love most, and run for office in 2 of them and get very involved.

    really great SATs!! shoot for nat'l merit scholar, study for the PSATs (but you almost def don't need to if those are your SAT's haha) and take the ACT. unless you hate the tests, since you do so well it couldn't hurt!

    pick a passion and teach it to yourself, then write about it in your college essay. idk what it can be whatever but i think that would be a nice addition (to have time at all for this, do it in the summer)

    pre-college at Harvard was an awesome experience, and if you can afford it and get great grades in the classes it can't hurt.

    hope this helped :)
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  • frankyd31frankyd31 3 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
    your academics are top notch especially ur SAT grades as a sophomore, but your ECs are lacking.
    This isn't too much of a big deal because you are still only a sophomore, but next year try to run for president of a club or two, and try to keep either your swimming or band (preferably both, but I know how hard it is).
    Try to do some activity related to bio-engineering, such as interning in a laboratory, and it's probably a good idea to join the science research program at your school if it is available, as there are usually a bunch of contests to compete in, and based on your stats and interests it seems you would do pretty well
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  • christiansoldierchristiansoldier 1311 replies31 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Science Olympiad, Chemistry Olympiad, Biology Olympiad, Physics Olympiad, AMC, and then do your research and enter Intel. If you do well in all that, you'll be a science monster. Also, I don't know where you live, but if you tried to nail the Siemens AP Award, that would be cool.
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  • coffeecup2945coffeecup2945 111 replies17 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    This is quite interesting
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  • BrownPennLoverBrownPennLover 225 replies21 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    you're gonna need to master the art of writing an essay. Being Asian in this application process is hard (trust me, i know). Instead of excelling ONLY in math, science, and your SAT, devote a lot of your time to your essays. Separate yourself from the typical genius asians, and make the AdComs think the world of you. Buy Harvard Crimson's book titled "50 Successful Harvard Application Essays." I wished that i saw that book earlier in my application process (not that i even applied to Harvard). and just a word of advice, don't drop swimming..aside that it is a good addition to your application, it keeps you healthy, and provides an outlet to relieve your stress :)

    GOOD LUCK! :D

    great SAT score btw ;)
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  • kaekaekaekae 304 replies54 postsRegistered User Member
    researchresearchresearch
    Being recognized in Siemens (or, even better, Intel) would be great for your application. Even if you get nothing, it will still look good.
    Btw, make sure that instead of just a safety and reaches, you apply to several in-between "match" type schools. That's something I wish I would have done.
    Also, focus more on your ECs, if possible.
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  • youwrotethisyouwrotethis 438 replies47 postsRegistered User Member
    I'm also in the same case as you (Sophomore, Asian, Ivies, etc.) And I don't have nearly that great of an SAT Score (Yet :3) But here's what I've got:

    I only have 1 AP Class this year, Calculus AB,

    GPA Unweighted by the end of this year: 4.0

    Around the same amount of Community Service (but assorted and not very concentrated)

    I'm only in 2 clubs, NHS and Key Club, but I put a lot of work into these clubs (hold positions in both of them, and at a division level for Key Club) with my own projects going and such (no BIG awards yet though :/) I'm also part of a community leadership program, Ignite Executive, and am applying for the senate page program :D

    I've been in orchestra for 5 years (School Principal, 3 years in a youth symphony, 2 years of a summer festival, 1st alternate for state competition, and All State)

    JV Tennis 1 year, and Varsity the other.


    So now that you know kind of the gist of where I come from, my opinion is that you shouldn't drop swimming of Band, even if it means sacrificing an AP class. I think that as long as your academics are sufficient, ECs are what matter more in the long run (plus they're fun!). Ivies receive tons of apps with tons of APs and 2400s on them, but how many do they receive with ECs exactly like your's (dedication and variety-wise)? You won't be able to win with SATs and APs because there will always be someone better than you, but with ECs how many people have the exact same passions as you? You should show off those passions, and not do things just because colleges want them. 4 years of high school shouldn't be used as a puppet doing whatever it takes to get into the Ivies, it should be the same purpose as the rest of your life: doing what you really love to do.
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  • WakeUpWakeUp 167 replies41 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Do what you want... Seriously, I'm not going to lie and say that there wasn't always COLLEGE in the back of my head while I picked up some things in school, but was it ever my prime motivation? Nope.

    I just did the activities that were interesting to me and fun. And guess what? It worked out for me (got into Duke, NU, and Rice). My biggest regret is that I didn't aim higher for Stanford, which looking back would have been a total fit in every way (I think or it's me just being totally in "What-if" mode.)

    And another thing just be open and frank with yourself. I cannot tell you how perplexing and hard it comes when you have your choices laid out in front of you come April 1 of senior year. You really have to come up with your own values and decide what fits it. It's hard. It's gut-wrenching and I know that I eventually came to the conclusion that all my past thinking is just mere dreaming. Sometimes, a college name and prestige means nothing in the face of trying to find a fit. So, don't totally set out for the top schools, unless that's what you truly want, and totally need in your life. There are thousands of bright kids who don't go or sometimes don't even apply to the "top" schools that you'll find at state schools across the nation.

    And don't ever try to score higher on any 750+ SAT II score or your current SAT score. It's a waste of time.
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  • mksh107mksh107 8 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    I'm a high school sophomore also, (not asian) what can I do that will increase my chances of getting into schools such as UPenn or Georgetown??

    My grades are good, class rank about 30/250, haven't taken any PSATs or SATs yet
    Enrolled in one AP class this year (the only one offered) AP World History
    Taking APUSH, AP Language, Physics, Precalc junior year

    I'm involved in many EC's- President of Interact club(rotary affiliation), Student Gov't, National recognition in Youth&Government (YMCA Program) selected as one of 18 students out of 750 to attend the National Conference, varsity Cheerleader for the past 4 years, played soccer/was a swimmer, member of English & Art honor societies, community service involvement

    I will be attending a summer program at Boston University and I have an internship with my local legislation office


    I'm just looking for some advice possibly from anyone who has been accepted to a school on a similar tier to Georgetown..how I can improve junior year, what else admissions will be looking at, basically how to improve my chances

    Thanks!!!!!!
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  • estrat1estrat1 345 replies20 postsRegistered User Member
    @OP
    Look into summer programs as well. That's one thing I really regret not doing - not really because it would've helped me college-wise, but because it's something I might've enjoyed.
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  • march10success2march10success2 175 replies34 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Higher GPA
    Internship during the summer (with an Ivy college professor) or the most competitive summer pre-college program (look at the schools you want to go)
    Keep the ECs you already have. Quality is better than Quantity.
    Yes, the national ranking competition (math, science, music.............)

    Lots to do but sometimes look at other non-ivy colleges, some are even better than Ivies.
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  • EngineerHeadEngineerHead 915 replies13 postsRegistered User Member
    Start aiming for valedictorian, whether or not it is capable.
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  • ksarmandksarmand 2725 replies18 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You're on a great track academically. As mentioned above by christiansoldier, participate in a few competitions: not only will it give you a great way to get some adrenaline going, it will also help you hone your science skills and become a more unique applicant. Eight clubs is a bit extreme; I was involved in 10 my sophomore year, made every single advisor furious because I couldn't devote myself to the club's activities, and then cut it down to 5 that I am either President/Vice President of. Don't overload, otherwise neither you nor the club members will enjoy the experience. Overcommitment is dangerous.
    So, don't totally set out for the top schools, unless that's what you truly want, and totally need in your life.

    Quoted for truth. I joined 10 (and later 5) clubs because I was sincerely interested, not because I was worried about what colleges would think. Heck, I wasn't even all that concerned until I had the misfortune of stumbling upon this website after I was done applying to all my schools!
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