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Average grade 9 and 10 marks-- what are my chances of getting into an ivy league school?

nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
I just decided that I really want to get into an ivy league school in America for my undergrad. I am a Canadian citizen at the moment.

My grade 9 average was an 85%
My grade 10 average is currently an 80%, but I can get it up to an 88% if I work really hard.
For grade 11 and 12, I know I can maintain an average of 95% if I work hard enough.

I've been slacking all of high school so far until a week ago when I decided I really wanted to get into an elite school. What are my chances?

Also any advice for extra-curriculars or volunteering that looks good on applications?
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Replies to: Average grade 9 and 10 marks-- what are my chances of getting into an ivy league school?

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3597 replies13 threads Senior Member
    The ECs that are important are the ones that you are most interested in. Usually your interests would be starting to emerge by now.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    What do you mean
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15449 replies1040 threads Senior Member
    American schools, Ivy or not, will look at grades 9, 10 and 11. All courses not just the top 6. You will be competing against other internationals who have been hard working students all along. Your chances at the elite schools are minimal.
    I've been slacking all of high school so far until a week ago when I decided I really wanted to get into an elite school
    I would not use this as an explanation of your poor performance to date.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 878 replies8 threads Member
    However, working hard and doing your best will give you more options, and lead to good things. What do you want to do with your life? Working hard and giving 100% may not lead to a specific outcome but it will definitely give you more, and better, choices.
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  • MarylandJOEMarylandJOE 192 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Honestly you're going to have a lot of competition from very dedicated students. What if you don't end up in an Ivy league school? If you've decided to do better then do that and see where you end up. Do your best and a good college will want you at their school. It may or may not be a top college but it will probably be a good fit for you.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7447 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I am a Canadian citizen at the moment

    Are you expecting this to change?

    A couple of points/thoughts:

    = LOTS of people are sure they can do amazing things if they just change and start working really hard, same as lots of people have New Year's resolutions about exercising, quitting smoking, etc. The stats on follow through are not encouraging.

    = The "Ivies" aren't the only 'elite' colleges out there, and depending on the subject area they aren't always the best option. Besides the bragging rights of a fancy name, what do you want from college?

    = Choosing an EC because it "looks good on applications" rarely works as well as you might hope. There is no magic EC (well, maybe an IMO Gold) that will be 'enough'- and the super elite colleges are pretty good at recognizing where style is masking a lack of substance.

    = Final averages of 85% (across 5 appropriate courses) are enough to qualify you for Oxford.

    Read this:

    https://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/applying_sideways/





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  • MWolfMWolf 2200 replies14 threads Senior Member
    nawalkay wrote: »
    I've been slacking all of high school so far until a week ago when I decided I really wanted to get into an elite school. What are my chances?

    Congratulations on your realization and on your decision. However, it has only been a week, and you are only in 10th grade. Until you have actually raised your GPA to 95%, and maintained it for at least a semester, there is no reason to start considering what your chances with be IF you do so.

    Moreover, you seem to have gotten the entire point of college wrong. The point isn't "to get into an elite college". Being accepted to an "elite" college means very very little after the momentary satisfaction of being accepted.

    My first question is "why?", as in why do you want to "get into an elite school"?

    My second question is: if you know that getting a 95% for grades 11 and 12 would not help you get into an "elite" school, would you still be willing to work hard enough to achieve those grades?

    Don't think of answers that will "satisfy" me. Be honest with yourself. Your chances of being accepted will not be affected by anything you write here.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    nawalkay wrote: »
    I've been slacking all of high school so far until a week ago when I decided I really wanted to get into an elite school. What are my chances?

    My first question is "why?", as in why do you want to "get into an elite school"?

    My second question is: if you know that getting a 95% for grades 11 and 12 would not help you get into an "elite" school, would you still be willing to work hard enough to achieve those grades?

    Don't think of answers that will "satisfy" me. Be honest with yourself. Your chances of being accepted will not be affected by anything you write here.

    It may sound shallow, and it kind of is, but I have been in a rut this past year. I suffered tremendously in my personal life and I wound up losing motivation for everything including school which is why my grades dropped. I stopped eating, stopped working out, stopped attending class, things were horrible. However, when I thought about getting into a good school, I suddenly found motivation again. The reason I want to go to an elite school is because it motivates me and validates my hard work. I know it's not a valid answer, but it's truly how I feel.

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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15449 replies1040 threads Senior Member
    You need to seek counseling. Either in your high school or through your parents.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    nawalkay wrote: »
    I've been slacking all of high school so far until a week ago when I decided I really wanted to get into an elite school. What are my chances?


    My second question is: if you know that getting a 95% for grades 11 and 12 would not help you get into an "elite" school, would you still be willing to work hard enough to achieve those grades?

    As for this question, yes I would be willing to work hard even if I wasn't guaranteed admission. I know that because I AM working hard as of now despite most people saying I won't be able to get in. I enjoy studying and getting good grades.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    You need to seek counseling. Either in your high school or through your parents.

    I don't believe in that. It is normal to go through hardships in your life. I feel much better now.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6148 replies1 threads Senior Member
    The way to improve your chances of attending an "elite" university is to start now to do as well as you can in high school. We do not have a time machine to go back and change what we did last year. We do have the ability to put in an effort starting now.

    One big plus that you have is that the top universities in Canada will not care about your grades in 9th year. If you can start putting in an effort now you should have a great chance at the top Canadian universities (you presumably know which ones they are just as well as I do). Since you are a Canadian citizen getting a bachelor's degree at a top Canadian school plus a master's degree in the US at an Ivy League school or equivalent (Stanford, MIT, ...) is likely to cost you less than just getting a bachelor's degree in the US (unless you qualify for a lot of need based financial aid at a university in the US -- Ivy League schools do not have merit based aid). The top graduate schools in the US definitely do know how strong the universities are in Canada.

    In terms of extracurricular activities, what I have consistently heard is that the point is to do very well at whatever you do. In my case my extracurriculars had almost nothing to do with anything academic. However, I did what I wanted to do and therefore did it well (I won awards at a couple of unusual sports, and as president of the chess club expanded it quite a bit). In each case the motivation was just to do whatever I was doing well. It never occurred to me that this might help with university applications until years later.

    The other thing to do is to understand the difference between different elite universities, and figure out which ones are a good fit for you. For example, "Ivy League" and "top ranked university" are not the same thing. The Ivy League includes 8 universities which are all very good. However, the best universities for some subjects are not in the Ivy League, and there are some very strong schools that are not in the Ivy League (eg, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Chicago, ...). Also, the US has some very strong small schools which we call "liberal arts colleges" which are not in the Ivy League either (eg, Williams College, Amherst College, Bowdoin College). Because there are so many top schools in the US, there are a lot to choose from with significant differences between them. In Canada there is not quite as much of a variety, but you still have quite a few great universities to choose from and you do have a few very good small universities which are focused on undergraduate education and do this very well.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27386 replies187 threads Senior Member
    In answer to your question about Ivy chances, the answer is almost nil. Other than earning an international award, the HS transcript is the most important part of your application. Sorry.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    nawalkay wrote: »
    I suffered tremendously in my personal life and I wound up losing motivation for everything including school which is why my grades dropped. I stopped eating, stopped working out, stopped attending class, things were horrible.
    nawalkay wrote: »
    You need to seek counseling. Either in your high school or through your parents.

    I don't believe in that. It is normal to go through hardships in your life. I feel much better now.

    I know that it is is difficult to accept that you may need that type of support, but it is not a sign of weakness.

    What you described sounds exactly like depression. It does not sound like "normal hardships". Your hardships may have triggered your first episode of depression, but that doesn't mean that the next episode will require a similar trigger. In fact, the next time it may seem to come out of nowhere. Just because you were able to pull through now in time to get your life back together doesn't mean that that will be the case the next time it happens.

    Yes, if that is depression, there will likely be a next time. You may not know that it has started before you have lost all motivation to deal with it. Not believing in something doesn't make it go away.

    You may have indeed just been in a rut because of your troubles, but even in that case, counseling will help.

    Your motivations are not shallow, and are, in fact, very widespread, but they are also a problem. You see being accepted to a good school as your motivation and as a way to feel validated. This is a recipe for another crash if you do not get into a school which you feel is "good enough" to provide you with the validation you need.

    As a person who has been dealing with depression for decades, I urge you to put your preconceived notions aside and go talk with a professional.

    I don't think it was depression because it only lasted a couple months and the trigger was a breakup. After the breakup, I felt I didn't have anyone since he was also my best friend. He said things to me that really broke me and made me feel absolutely worthless. I developed trust issues that I'm trying to get over even today. My family started fighting a lot as well. I've since gotten over that boy and my family is doing better. I also found joy again in things I used to love to do, especially creative writing and poetry. During the episode, I talked to my older sister who has dealt with depression and anxiety. I don't think I am depressed, but rather that I went through something that caused that feeling of loneliness and hopelessness. Most people who lose someone dear to them-- in this case someone I loved and had as a best friend-- go through similar things. Moreover, family chaos broke loose and stressed me out a lot. All of this happened during exams and summatives (end of December through end of January) which I ended up doing extremely poorly on. At the time, it really felt like nothing mattered and I lost sight of everything. Right before the breakup, my grades were stellar as I was receiving above 95% on all my tests. Sadly, I lost motivation and all my hard work was for naught as I lost the will to maintain that work ethic.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    I am a Canadian citizen at the moment

    = LOTS of people are sure they can do amazing things if they just change and start working really hard, same as lots of people have New Year's resolutions about exercising, quitting smoking, etc. The stats on follow through are not encouraging.

    I know I can do amazing because I achieved those scores of 85% in grade 9 and 80% in grade 10 while barely attending school (skipping about twice a week on average) and not completing half the homework. I know my work ethic was terrible, but I also know I am really smart and I can easily get above average marks without much effort. I am not saying this to be pretentious, but I am just trying to make a point.
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  • MattIsHereMattIsHere 15 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Yes, except some prestigious universities may decide to disregard freshman year grades. You will need to do research into what schools do it, but to my knowledge only 1 Ivy League schools does (Princeton), but some very prominent ones do. The likes of UC Berkeley, JHU, and Stanford.
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  • nawalkaynawalkay 8 replies1 threads New Member
    Princeton is actually the ivy league school I want to attend the most hehe thanks for the hope even though it's far-fetched. I'll do my best :)
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6148 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "it only lasted a couple months and the trigger was a breakup. After the breakup, I felt I didn't have anyone since he was also my best friend. He said things to me that really broke me and made me feel absolutely worthless."

    To me this sounds like something that it would be worth talking to a professional counselor about. It is likely that there is someone at your high school that you can talk to. They really are there specifically to help people such as you.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7447 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I don't doubt that you can! just pointing out the gap between 'can' and 'will': sustained effort is hard.

    Which is also one of the reasons that I flagged the UK for you: depending somewhat on the subject, for some students the compressed work schedule is happier than lots of continuing assessment (more bluntly, it suits crammers).
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