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Early Decision Chances

CiderCider Registered User Posts: 327 Member
edited January 2009 in Harvey Mudd College
I'll post school information, academic information, and extracurricular information.

My senior class size is 493.
It offers 67 weighted courses, which include 28 IB, 12 AP, and 27 Pre-IB (not part of IB but are advanced courses to help prepare for IB classes).
Of 98 teachers with 15 years of experience, 51 have master's degrees and six have doctorates.

Here are the 2007 standardized test score averages:
SAT - 596 (Reading), 610 (Math), 592 (Writing).
ACT - 25 (Composite)

For IB Diploma students, roughly 100% of the 40 students trying for the diploma earned it for the class of 2008.


For the information on me, I'll primarily look at the information in my Common App application and my MIT application.

My GPA for the past three years (including 4 semesters of Math classes at a High School as a 7th and 8th grader) is 4.489. This puts me roughly about 12% of class (4.561 - 4.902 is top 10%). GPA for sophomore and Junior years is 4.67. GPA for Junior year is 4.77.

Class schedule this year:
IB English 12 (year)
Digital Art and Design (maybe year)
IB Chemistry 1 (year)
IB Theory of Knowledge (second part of year course)
IB Physics 2 (year)
IB Mathematics HL (year)
IB Spanish 5 (year)
One notable class that I have taken is Calculus 2/3, which included Multivariable and Vector Calculus and was taught by a former Professor at Harvey Mudd.
As is evident, I am doing the IB Diploma and expect a score of around 36.

Test Scores:
SAT - 710 / 690 (Reading), 750 / 800 (Math), 630 / 670 (Writing)
SAT II Math - 800
SAT II Physics - 750
ACT - 31 (English), 33 (Reading), 36 (Math), 33 (Science), 33 (Composite), no essay.
AP Calculus BC - 5
AP Computer Science AB - 5
IB History SL - 5
IB Computer Science - 5
Will take tests in IB Math HL, IB Physics HL, IB Spanish SL, IB English HL, AP Physics C, AP Statistics, and maybe more AP tests.

Other Activities:
People to People for three years to Australia, China, and Europe. I am going to the Presidential Inauguration with People to People.
Ultimate Frisbee Team for the past two years. Five hours a week for 30 weeks roughly.
Karate for 4 hours a year, 46 weeks a year, since I was 8. I am a 1st degree black belt soon to be a 2nd degree.
I've golfed for the past two years for roughly 5 hours a week, 15 weeks per year.
I am in Math Club this year for 3 hours a week 36 weeks a year. I was a substitute on the winning team of a Colorado State University Math Day tournament this year. I qualified for the AIME last year.
I am in Science Bowl this year for 4 hours a week 36 weeks a year.
I tutored at my school for 2.5 hours a week 30 weeks a year last year.
I have also hunted since I was eleven years.
I was inducted into the National Honor Society this year.

The teachers that are writing my letters of recommendation are my former Calculus 2/3 teacher (who taught at Harvey Mudd) and my Theory of Knowledge teacher.


I probably would have gotten an 800 if I had known Thermo when I took the SAT II Physics test. I think one of my strongest parts is the fact that a former professor will be writing a letter of rec for me. Test scores are pretty good, GPA other than Freshmen year is good. Extracurricular stuff is good, though it would be better if I had joined some of the clubs last year or before. I think my general common app essay is good (about trip to China), my why HMC is good, and I'm not entirely sure about my last one, which is essentially about individuality in a way. Course load is good as well, especially the IB factor.

I personally think I have a very good chance of acceptance, but I want other opinions.
Post edited by Cider on
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Replies to: Early Decision Chances

  • PajkajPajkaj Registered User Posts: 195 Junior Member
    I think your chances are good. Your scores are good, your grades are good. Your class rank-as you discussed in another forum- is lower than one might expect, but I tend to see class rigor (IB) as more than compensating. I am interested to see Muddslinger's opinion, but I would say that your chances are on the positive side.
  • MuddslingerMuddslinger Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Gee, how did you know that I'd be posting an opinion Pajkaj? lol

    Okay, back on topic, Cider. How'd you like your dossier? Makes the EE look like a Group 4 project poster done at the last minute, doesn't it? ;) Anyway, I'm surprised that you got a 5 in IB even though you got a 5 in AP.

    As for chancing you. Short version: you have as good a shot as anyone.

    Long version: IB will put you on par with a full AP course load so don't worry about not having loads of AP tests. Your senior course load looks fine, completing your IB Diploma is obviously rather important at this point :) ACT is good, SAT seems a bit low but I submitted inferior scores with my 33ACT and I'm here so they won't hurt you, at least not as far as I can tell.

    A question about your tests: Why are you taking the AP Physics C and Statistics tests if you're not enrolled in those classes? Neither have very good overlap with the IB curriculum, especially not Physics C since it's vector and calculus based.

    Your GPA is pretty good and the EC's are solid. So yea, good work in school. Sign up for an interview if you haven't yet also.
  • CiderCider Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    The dossier was... long because of all the text files I had. I can't compare the two much because my EE was done in LaTeX which made it a little more difficult. And our Java teacher isn't really good and the course was more of an AP course. The stuff on the IB Comp Sci test is really just... not coding. AP was all coding, so it was easy even though I taught myself some of the coding on the test itself. The IB needed all this stuff about making computers for handicapped people and stuff like that. It was odd.

    We have IB/AP Physics I and II, and I'm in II. The two classes prepare you for AP Physics B or C as well as IB Physics HL. And since I'm really strong in Calculus anyways, Physics C is the one I'm taking as well.

    For AP Stat, I'm going to be studying the stuff we don't learn outside of class so that I can get a 5 and place out of Stat in College :P Stat and Probability aren't my favorite areas of math, if you can consider them math at all :P

    And I don't think I can do an interview since I'd have to fly out to California to do so, which isn't something we can really do right now.
  • MuddslingerMuddslinger Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    Are you kidding? My dossier was over 100 pages without the stuff about the interviews, etc. And coding was only a small part. If had just been a program, then it would have been easy but sections A and B involved endless amounts of writing. If you got a 5 on AP, then getting a 7 on IB is a piece of cake - whatever isn't coding is just BS :D

    If you went LaTeX on you EE then you did too much work :)

    Are you sure they prepare for Physics *C* just as well as HL? They're quite different. Physics B makes sense because HL and B are pretty much the same thing, but C seems entirely calculus based while HL has no calc at all. If they do actually prepare you for both equally, then that's awesome.

    Stat you can probably study for effectively. Passing out of statistics is a good idea at any school unless you're going to be a math major, in which case Mudd stats class would serve you better than AP. Math 62 is notation and theory oriented which is nice.

    Stats isn't math - it's clever BSing with point estimates, then measuring how much your BS stinks by looking at how large your confidence interval is ^_^
  • CiderCider Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    As I said, our Computer Science teacher is really bad. She didn't really tell us what to do at all. And I meant the test itself wasn't really coding based. It had all this random stuff on how to make computers and stuff for handicapped people and annoying stuff like that. I think I got full credit on the stuff like the methodology and whatnot, but I don't remember getting any grading sheet back. I've also heard that this year, she isn't even teaching; she's just having everyone read the web lessons. I should have done Chem SL; it would have been an easy 7... The AP and IB tests are completely different, though, with all the annoying questions about what's in a computer and what things inside it do and the five steps for making a program, whatever they were.

    For my EE, I essentially rewrote it the three days before it was due, and that was all while I was also doing Youth in Government. No sleep that last night... And I wanted it to look pretty. It was a Math EE, as well (I was the only IB student to do Math), though it was also based in Reflection and Refraction.

    But ya, we prepare for Physics B, C, and HL. And I'm very strong in Calculus as it is, so it wouldn't be too hard for me to apply Calculus to any Physics problems. I've done more advanced Physics in Calc 2/3 than Physics :P (Flux double Integrals as an example).

    It seems odd that they even put Stat as Math when it seems so much more science-oriented also, since it seems to be a lot more based on what happens in real life than what's actually true. I think I'll only get 5s on the four AP tests I will have taken :P
  • CiderCider Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    I was going through a bunch of my stuff from last year and found this from my Calc 2/3 class:

    Harvey Mudd College Math Tutorial: Algebra Review

    Couldn't help but find it funny :P

    Edit: Another one called Continuity instead of Algebra Review. I don't remember these :P

    If I do end up having to take that class in Harvey Mudd (I forget which it corresponds to), I'll probably use all these tests and notes to help study.

    Edit 2: Computing Limits

    Edit 3: Continuity
  • rocketDArocketDA Registered User Posts: 1,565 Senior Member
    You, my friend, are what HMC is looking for.

    You are a real person. Imperfect, but perfect at that! You have a personality. You probably have some underlying major ambitions. I think your test scores are perfect. I hate seeing 800's across the board.

    See you here! (Oh, wait, I'm graduating!)
  • CiderCider Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    Gracias por las palabras. Now I'm spending my time contemplating whether even thinking about double majoring in Math and Physics is just delusional or crazy. Maybe both. I wonder when I'll actually graduate... hmm... Now that pretty much everything for IB is done for now (did a String Theory IA for ToK today), I have too much time on my hands.
  • esquiaresquiar Registered User Posts: 111 Junior Member
    I don't really have anything to say about your ED chances, except good luck!

    It's surprising to see the Colorado domination in this thread. Pajkaj, Cider, and myself are all applying ED and go to CO high schools. Plus, Muddslinger is from CO, which is a bit ridiculous considering we're talking about a small lib arts school in CA.
  • CiderCider Registered User Posts: 327 Member
    I also have a friend who's sister goes to Harvey Mudd now, though I don't think they lived in Colorado when she applied. Pajkaj is actually not applying ED, either. Although it is his first choice.
  • quantizequantize Registered User Posts: 335 Member
    I'm applying and I am from Texas :). My stats are very similar to yours, Cider, except I'm not sure how our GPA's(3.7ish UW) and rank (6%) compare, because my school doesn't have an IB program.

    But that post above about being a real person.... I sure hope it's true!


    P.S. I'm applying RD. I have no idea where I want to go, but I visited HMC and liked it quite well.
  • PajkajPajkaj Registered User Posts: 195 Junior Member
    HMC very likely is my top choice, even though I'm going RD. I just... felt like I'd fit in well, plus the school is great, the campus is wonderful, and it's Cali.

    Esquiar, I'm curious what HS you go to - I see in your stats profile you're in a "suburb" of Denver... I know you may not want to post it here in case someone wanders through but you could PM me.

    Haha, Colorado REPRESENT!
  • PajkajPajkaj Registered User Posts: 195 Junior Member
    PS

    The real question is, do AOs hate seeing 800s across the board. [:
  • rocketDArocketDA Registered User Posts: 1,565 Senior Member
    "The real question is, do AOs hate seeing 800s across the board. [:"

    Getting in is overrated. Knowing you deserve to be here at least should give you some comfort >80)
  • gerbielmlgerbielml Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Regular Decision and crossing my fingers, my top choice (Why didn't I do ED then? I'm indecisive)

    Objective:
    SAT I (breakdown): 2100 (780M, 730CR, 590W)
    SAT II: 780 Math II, 680 Spanish
    Unweighted GPA (out of 4.0): 3.97
    Rank (percentile if rank is unavailable): 12/411
    Senior Year Course Load: IB Diploma (sigh)
    Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): none...

    Subjective:
    Extracurriculars (place leadership in parenthesis): cross country 4 years, math club past 2 years, DECA association of marketing students this year, school newspaper last year
    Job/Work Experience: worked 9 months combined at Baskin Robbins from the past 2 summers & part of the academic year
    Volunteer/Community service: 2 years National Honor Society, 3 years Kiwanis Educated Youth
    Summer Activities: Writing & Photography classes at community college, cross country camp
    Essays: I feel like Harvey Mudd is a good fit so the short answer flowed well and the second one has voice, but I haven't been highly involved in any projects/programs to do with math, science and engineering.
    Teacher Recommendation: Strong recommendations from math teacher whose had me for 2 years & I'm in the only girl in her IB HL calculus class... Also a strong recommendation from Spanish teacher who I've had for 3 years & I'm working on my IB Extended Essay with her
    Counselor Rec: I submitted a counselor rec from my actual counselor and my ib coordinator since that's what I was told to do when I asked (some schools accept the IB coordinator rec in place of a counselor one). Counselor rec is unknown, it's probably decent but i don't know my counselor very well. IB coordinator one is stronger since she's my advisor.
    Interview: Good! I asked for an interview when a Harvey Mudd admissions officer visited my hs and I had an over the phone one for about 45 minutes. I was nervous, first interview.

    Other
    Country (if international applicant): US
    School Type: Public
    Ethnicity: Vietnamese, parents were immigrants
    Gender: female
    Hooks: really good interview? i felt comfortable talking to my interviewer (perhaps easier because it was over the phone)

    Reflection
    Strengths: strong recommendations, good interview, strong gpa & rank/most difficult course load available, decent community service
    Weaknesses: unbalanced SATs (weak writing SATi & Spanish subject) subpar. no leadership & no awards, mediocre ecs

    General Comments:
    I hope being a girl helps, even though that sounds silly. HMC is the only school I really fell in love with so I'll hope for the best...
    I feel like I'm lacking also in doing more with math/science/engineering outside of my courses & math club. It's because I didn't always know this is what I wanted to do, so I've fiddled with things here and there, which is part of the reason I like HMC distribution requirements.
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