Do I stand a chance?

<p>I'm a white male, currently a junior. I am taking Calculus BC now, have a 100, should still have one at the end of the year and will make a 5. AP Chemistry is the same situation. My school won't let me take AP Physics, amazingly enough, so I have to take that next year at the big state university. I took all the honors classes I could last year as well as one AP (Human Geography-5) and this year I have AP US Government, AP US History, AP English Language and Composition, BC Cal, and Chem. I should have all 5s except for possibly APUS and Gov. By my senior year I will have taken BC Cal, Multivariable Calculus, and Linear Algebra with Differential Equations. During my senior year I will most likely take the next level of Chemistry, a Calc based Physics class and whatever other math course the University will allow me to take. I'll have As in all of the classes, and I'm hoping the credit won't make me count as a transfer. I think it might at Stanford, so I'll have to look into that. I have some other extra curriculars like Mock Trial, NHS, I play golf recreationally, I play the guitar, I have a few hundred hours of tutoring kids who have learning disabilities and/or don't speak English.
The only thing is I don't have any math awards or national recognition just because there aren't many opportunities for students not in my school's Magnet program for those gifted in math and science. I know it seems odd I'm not in it, but I transferred in the tenth grade and you have to enter in the ninth for Magnet. Thus I have no AMC/AIME/Chem Olympiad recognitions because I can't take the tests.</p>

<p>Do I stand a chance? If you need more information, let me know and I'll post it.</p>

<p>Oh, SAT I will be around 1550+, Chem 800, IIC 770-800. I know they may seem low for CalTech, but that's why I'm worried.</p>

<p>Once you're in the 1500-1600 range, SAT scores mean nothing. Don't worry about it.</p>

<p>Your academic record is very strong - stronger than most Caltech applicants (I think most don't get past Calc BC; and besides, at the level you're at, you'll fulfill core requirements. But then I only know the core requirements of MIT and am assuming that they're similar at Caltech).</p>

<p>Caltech has 5 slots for ECs. You should fill them up with your strongest ECs. If you hahve less than 5 strong ECs, then you're in trouble. Also, being unable to take the AMC/AIME won't hurt you THAT much since Caltech should understand that not all schools offer it - so as long as you're strong in other areas, you should be OK, even if Caltech asks for AMC scores on its app.</p>

<p>Caltech is very picky (only 5% of their applicants, I'd assume get in)
while 40% of those that caltech personally ask to apply get in.</p>

<p>Most people at Caltech are in 3rd year calc by the time they get there, though soem have finished 4 years of calc and are moving on into the higher tiers. </p>

<p>Questions like the triangle throw alot of people off, think of something very creative :)</p>

<p>Cal Tech's admissions rate is actually 15%</p>

<p>Ack, my bad. Application has slots for 5 awards; 3 mathh/science ECs, and 3 ECs. but they would discourage more.</p>

<p>You should figure out some way to take the AMC. I'm sure that if you personally appeal to the math teacher who administers the exam, you can come up with a way to take it. Demonstrate your math skills. Your classes sound quite similar to what most people have - a lot of folks have gone through diff eq before they get here, and a good number of taken a calc based phys class. Do some research this summer and you'll have a strong application.</p>

<p>Ahh yes, how could I have forgot about mentioning taking the AMC at another school? What has happened to my memory! Yes, I understand that many teachers are unbelievably inflexible; so you might want to contact the math teachers at a nearby school if your math teachers don't help.</p>

<p>oh, and yeah; there is a huge difference between those who apply (plenty of people apply with only half-decent stats) and those who get enrolled; I know of many who applied to caltech but i don't know of anyone who got into the university so i don't know about the stats of those who've gone in. my bad, i shouldn't have the authority to speak on this. ah well, I'll learn from my mistakes. </p>

<p>bTW, do most of those accepted take multivariable calc before the end of their high school years?</p>

<p>It's discouraging that their applicant pool is so strong, and they except so few people. I think they except ~215? I am a little saddened to hear that the extra years of Calc won't help seperate me from the pack. And I don't have any research opportunities, unfortunately. Those are reserved for the Magnet kids. I am taking the two courses of Calc this summer so that will take up most of the time, but I could do a maximum of three weeks of research which I don't think would be enough. Kyshantry, do you go to CalTech?</p>

<p>Patrick: Yeah, I'm a senior at Caltech. We accept something like 500 people, and expect to matriculate 215. You can find resarch opportunities on your own, I swear! I had to move away from home the summer after my junior year - 150 miles away and live on my own for a summer in order to do research, and I had to turn up the program on my own, but it's possible. That sort of determination is the sort of thing the admissions folks look for.</p>


<p>I'm taking multivariable calculus over the summer, though. I think it is an 8-week course, so I will only have about three weeks of summer before that. I don't know if that's long enough to do any research.</p>

<p>Culd you complete the course in less time? Most math courses (at least distance ones) are self-paced.</p>

<p>Research >>>>> Multi-Variable Calc if that is a choice you have. If you don't have the choice of research, then take multi-v.</p>


<p>It looks like I'll just have to take my chances. I might be able to get a job washing test tubes or some other menial work, but I wouldn't be able to get involved with any research.</p>