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Er, chances :-)

mercurysquadmercurysquad 2664 replies59 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,723 Senior Member
edited November 2004 in Princeton University
I thought it was time I posted my own "chances" post so here goes:
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Applying to: Princeton (ED), MIT, Harvard, Yale, Duke and maybe Johns Hopkins

Biographic
Guy from India. Graduated from HS this year.

Academics
SAT 1: 600V 650M
SAT 2: Math 640, Physics 730, Writing 710
SAT 1 was a freak incident though I really can't say anything in my defense for the SAT 2 marks... will take ACT in december to compensate (couldn't register for SAT..ACT practice score was okay).

AAT: 99V 91M equivalent to 790V 750M
Also, a 99 each in English and Computer Science AAT Subject Tests
AAT is the Academic Aptitude Test, almost exactly equal in format to the SAT, but more difficult (tuned for indian students). Conducted by ICSE and IPEM.

External exam marks (ICSE):
10th: 88.2% - Eng 90, Hindi 90, Math 69 (hah), Sci 78, Soc.Sci 86, Comp 97, comm.service: B
12th: 81% - Eng 88, Math 53 (hah again), Phy 72, Chem 69, Comp 96, comm.service: A
Rank: 10th- none/370 (top 10%), 12th- 6/68

Constant rank 1 at school in computer sc. and most of the time in english too.

Recommendations are excellent. My teachers told me they ticked off "top few in my career" and "top few this year" on the forms. School report should be great too as it was prepared by consulting my teachers.

Extracurricular activities
Students were actively discouraged from participating in ECAs, so I have no 'formal' activities. Personal interests are:
1. Computer Programming (VB, C++, .NET etc.) - 9,10,11,12 - 25/35 - 7 yr experience, Appreciation letter by Principal (developed library management software which replaced the old 'library card' system with a totally paperless ID based system)
2. Composing music - 9,10,11,12 - 15/35 - 4 yr exp., instruments: guitar and keyboard, genres: pop/rock/alternative/techno
3. Sequencing MIDI files - 10,11,12 - 20/15 - Invited by singlouder.com to sequence professional grade midi files and mp3 backing tracks which are put for sale on the internet (I get commission).
4. Independent, informal research - 9,10,11,12 - 10/10 - "Special appreciation award" for presenting and original paper, 'the matter theory' (talked about possible quantization of space and matter) in 9th grade, first prize in our only science fair so far (was school's entry for district fair)
5. Member of "Oxygen" movement (a year-old students' movement to make education an issue bigger than any else) - 4hrs on sundays
7. Formed an informal science activites club (The Mercury Squad) - 9,10 - 3/12 - Founder and President
6. Educational website (The MercurySquad website) - 9,10 - 4/12 - Webmaster and Co-editor. Site was launched by the principal, instant hit among city's students. Now closed.

Leadership
Best Citizen award - 5th grade
Class President - 6th grade
Student Council President (landslide victory!) - 7th grade (this was the leaving year)
Misc. stuff like boys' group leader on tours and many things like that... not mentioned.

I have attended two schools, one was upto grade 7th, another from 8th to 12th. The latter school had almost no ECs as I said, so there were no leadership positions to hold there, except in the student council. The school was SO lithargic that one guy stayed the class president since I joined the school and the post laid vacant after he left. In 12th grade, though, I was one of the two nominees for Student Council President; one was to be the president, the other vice president. But no student council was inducted this year due to NO obvious reasons! Sucks!

Major Awards
1. First rank (gold medal) in India, Computer Science, International Assessment of Schools 2000 held by the University of New South Wales, Australia
2. Second rank (Computer Science) among all test takers in the world, Academic Aptitude Test 2003.
3. Was awarded the title of "LG Science Master" - finalist in India's first Cyber Science Olympiad 2000 (LG electronics)
4. Distinction in Science, International Assessment of Schools, 2000, Univ. of NSW
5. First rank in school (Computer Science), Indian School Certificate Exam (year 12)
6. Among top 10% in India, National InfoTech Aptitude Test 2004 (for college students and graduates). Won educational subsidies and scholarships by National Institute of Information Technology.

Countless city, school and class level awards which I'm not going to mention...


So what's my 'hook' ?
I guess they are:
1. My 'lopsidedness' in computers and scientific research. I attached a list and short descriptions of my major projects along with the "what else.." form. It includes an instant messenger for my school's computer labs, library management system, midi file steganography, an AI bot, digital signal processing library, automatic punk tunes composer, peizo electric guitar pickup, 10 dollar wireless network etc....
2. Hands-on/techie attitude and inventiveness, expert level knowledge of computers and initiative to study about things not taught at school (like dsp, neural nets, audio/data compression etc.)
3. Special talent: midi sequencing (rated among the best in the world!) - something not (m)any applicants will submit

There are obviously so much more to write about but I'll leave it at that.

Essays are excellent (I think!) but very long.
I sent in a CD with 4 full songs, 2 audio documentary clippings and one backing track demo, all handmade at home.

I'll need full aid.
What do you guys think?
edited November 2004
2 replies
Post edited by mercurysquad on
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Replies to: Er, chances :-)

  • kayoshinkayoshin 183 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    *stunned* the only thing i'd improve are those SAT scores. Your AAT scores are excellent, but these colleges will still give importance to the sats. Your comp accomplishments are amazing, to say the least, and so is the way you used them to improve your school and community. I like the mix of computer and music. (anychance i can hear them?)

    I'd say the sat scores are the only things holding you back. Sure u cant retake them?
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  • mercurysquadmercurysquad 2664 replies59 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,723 Senior Member
    anychance i can hear them?
    I have one techno track up at http://seventhdimension.home-page.org/ :) Though I compose in a LOT of styles, mostly indian pop music...

    Use these to get in:
    ID: seventh
    password: dimension
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