Effect of high school science olympiads on grad school admittance

Hey everyone.

I’m an international and just got accepted to Amherst College. I suppose it might be too early to worry about grad school, but I like to plan like that.

I wanted to ask how much recieving medals in international science olympiads in high school would affect my chances for top grad school admittance in the sciences - mostly physics and chem (Berkeley, Ivies, MIT…). I already have a silver medal in the International Chemistry Olympiad, but want to snatch some more medals this year. It’s getting very hard to stay motivated though, as all of the olympiads are switching to an online format, guaranteeing not being able to travel to the venue of the olympiad and it being way way way less exciting.

I know Amherst College gives great prospects for grad school, but I just wanted to make sure if this would make any difference too.

It has no effect. For grad schools, especially for the top programs, your research experience in the subject area will play a significant role.


It will be ancient history to grad schools. If you want to compete, do so by all means but not to get into grad school.