Can one score be fatal?

<p>Hello, I'm applying to Caltech, but I received a 680 in physics, is it a fatal score (57th percentile)? It's not that I really don't understand Physics, it's just that I had never taken the course, except in 10th grade where the course pretty much only covered mechanics. On the actual test I believe I misread somethings, wasn't very strong on E/M and optics, and paced myself badly, is Caltech still a possibility?</p>

<p>I have an 800 in math, 770 verbal, 800 Math IIC, 800 writing, 740 US history, and I plan to take Chemistry test (my teacher last year originally said that the chemistry test is difficult if you haven't taken chem AP), but Caltech doesn't take any EA scores past October (and I've already sent them a bunch of stuff, and teachers/counselor letters have been sent).</p>

<p>My grades are also decent, I'm rank 1/570, and I've taken multivariable calculus, a computational linear algebra course, and I'm currently taking elementary differential equations (none of these courses are common at my high school, I believe only 2 or 3 others in the history of my school have taken such courses). And i've recieved 5s on all 5 APs.</p>

<p>My basic question is, can one score ruin you at Caltech?</p>

<p>One bad score never ruins you unless you've taken it too late. if you've taken the test 5 times, then another story...</p>

<p>EDIT: well, yeah, you have taken it kinda too late for EA. It won't ruin your application but your app will be questioned, esp. since you have the opportunity to take SaT iis multiple times.</p>

<p>If they don't reject me during the early round (if I get deferred), can I send new scores (as well as all of my other new relevant accomplishments), to show them what I've done so far? I was reading some books about college applications and they actually suggested sending the scores of any new tests you've taken after you are deferred.</p>

<p>Thanks for the help!</p>

<p>I think you can send new scores - I don't see a reason why not, considered that you're now weighed against other regular dcecision admittants. But hurry - you can only send January's scores at the latest! (also, you can give new information; I think you can even call the admissions office if you've won a major award like Intel).</p>

<p>Yes you can - if they defer you. But they're tryign to defer fewer people than in years gone by, where they would string along a whole bunch of people. I was admitted off the waitlist, and back when I was notified I was on the waitlist I deluged them with stuff (like three or four recommendations, more stuff I'd written, pilot's license, so on, so forth). </p>

<p>One score can kill you, so you CERTAINLY want to retake that, and get a commanding (780+) score, to show that you were just having an 'off day' that first time. If you're only barely in the top half of people in physics across the nation, you don't want to come to Caltech, and the AdCom wants to protect you from yourself. You have a minimum of five terms of physics when you're here, and they aren't warm and fuzzy.</p>


<p>AH, I see.</p>

<p>How about an A- in AP Calculus? Looks like I'm on the path on an A- (my score dropped from 96 to 92 after a homework check): while I'm receiving almost perfect socres on tests; I still can't discipline myself to do my homework on time. :P Problem is, I also had an A- in the previous year's math class (again, because I couldn't bring myself to do my homework).</p>

<p>Of course, now I absolutely must do my homework: Caltech won't be so light on those who don't do their HW. But I'm only a soph; and does Caltech forgive soph errors easily? I know Princeton and Stanford do - they don't even look at freshman grades - but I don't know about Caltech.</p>

<p>Caltech does look at Soph grades, and I think frosh grades as well (not positive on that one). However an A- isn't the end of the world. Sure, A's are better, but A-'s don't set off any alarm bells.</p>