How can an Indian student get into MIT, Harvard, CalTech, Cambridge, Oxford or other top institutes?


I’m an Indian student from the CBSE curriculum in 10th standad (started a month ago).
I want to do under-graduation in Astronomy / Computer Sciences / Robotics / Mechanical Engineering (still not decided yet. But it’d be much better if I can able to study all of them together :p) in any of the colleges mentioned above. Though my first choice is MIT, and always will be! Yeah, you can say, it’s my dream college!

I want to know about the preparation, required tests, eligible criteria and the other important ‘essentials’ an applicant must have to make to these Elite / Ivy League college / universities. Please do explain the whole matter as clear as possible! :slight_smile:

I’d also like to reveal here a sad truth of mine, that my class 9th result just ruined me up!
I was overconfident and wasn’t concerned regarding the same at that time. I got a poor 76.02 % then. :frowning: Shame on me!
But I’ll do much hard work to get a descent 95% (Cumulative GPA of at least 9.8 on 10.0 point scale) and I guess the future grades will be excellent in the 11th and 12th standard as well.
Do I’ve still much chances of getting in the top tier universities or my 9th class 76.02% will completely ruin my application?

For additional info, I tell you that I’m ready to do whatever it’ll take me to these universities (especially to the MIT)!! O:) B-)

I really wanna go there guys!
It was my dream since I was just 4!

Please help! As I don’t want to end daydreaming. O:)


Hey. I am also in 10th now. Finally glad to see some 10th grader planning for Ivies right now. MIT selects Indians who have medals at IMO , IOI. There are other Ivies , where ECs , essays , SATs can help get you in. I am currently working on my ECs and would be preparing for SAT in this summer break :stuck_out_tongue: You know , My dream is too to get in the Ivies.
Btw I am in Delhi? Where are you at?

Nice to meet you dude! But I’m a bit far away for you. :stuck_out_tongue: A Distance of 'bout 2575 kms.
I’m in Agartala, Tripura.

Anyway, I’ve heard about the requirements of a bunch of extra-curriculars for increasing the odds of getting in. Is it true?

Ditto to iwannabe_Brown. Also, judging from your post, I’d work on your English grammar/reading skills. A decent TOEFL and other standardized test scores is pretty important.

@Newdle I know all of these, since I’ve been researching regarding the same for the past few months.
I just wanna know, ahead of the SATs, TOEFL and AP, what are the ‘essentials’ that will increase my odds in getting into the Ivies.

@TheCompNerd There are no essentials. Somebody built a nuclear reactor as a teen and got rejected, yet the most seemingly “normal” people get in. Read iwannabe_Brown’s post.

Nothing will guarantee you a slot in any one of these schools. Just do the best you can in every area – academically, standardized testing & activities. Write great essays and get excellent recommendations when the time comes. But more importantly, cast a wide net in terms of your college options – there are tons of fantastic colleges and universities out there and if you limit yourself to just a few hyper-competitive top name schools you may be in for disappointment.

Since it’s so competitive (esp. internationally), I recommend everyone applying to MIT/Ivies or other selective schools to have a backup. Of course, having some stand-out achievement that shows potential helps.

@Newdle & @happy1 … Thanks for your valuable suggestions and help. :slight_smile:

Yeah. I’m listing out some other prestigious schools for a backup :-w or you may say a Plan B :p.
Btw, what type of ‘stand-out achievement’ will increase the odds of success?

What helps is not being a typical Indian applicant. Be interested in the arts and humanities instead of being another Indian future engineer.

^ @mathstarftw reminds me of the film Three Idiots.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. There is no “checklist” of things to do to get into MIT. Just do what you love, work hard, and leave everything to probability.

@MITer94 You’ve watched Three Idiots? Ay caramba!

@DarkEclipse yes, I’ve seen it. :slight_smile:

@MITer94 Holy censored, because skieurope would kill me if I uncensored it.

Stanford does not look at freshman grades

@mathstarftw … Thanks for the suggestion mate. But I don’t have any plan of becoming an engineer. Instead I’m in some really, really big :slight_smile: . And for that I’ve to complete those courses.

@DarkEclipse _ Yes. I know that there’s no such ‘formula’ which will let me get in.
But at least can you suggest me a list of things/activities/whatever which can increase my odds of getting there?