Is it too late to shape myself for HYPMS?

<p>Hey everyone, I'm an Indian 10th Grade student studying in Qatar.
My aspiration is to get into one of the HYPMS schools (preferably Harvard, Yale or Princeton)
and I wanted to know if it's too late to polish my resume.</p>

<p>Ethnicity - Asian (Indian)
Age - 15
School : One of the top 3 in the country (Usually 1st - keeps changing every 2-3 years)
IQ : 135</p>

<p>So without further ado, I give you my stats (pre-senior, so NO SAT) and ECs -</p>

<p>Grades : - Class 9 GPA - 9.6/10 (96%/100%)
- Class 10 GPA (so far) - 10/10 (100%/100%)</p>

<p>Course - I plan to take one of the most rigorous courses my school has to offer. </p>

<p>SAT - I will most probably not take it...</p>

<p>ACT - I will be taking the ACT and will be preparing from the Princeton Review for it.</p>


<li>Public Speaking/ Elocution / Debating -</li>

<li>This is the EC I'm most passionate about</li>
<li>Public Speaker since I was 5. </li>
<li>Trained Debater since I was 12.</li>
<li>6 National Debate titles, from institutions all over Qatar.</li>
<li>12 National Elocution titles, from various institutions.
-Awarded "Qatar's Best Communicator" twice.( It has only been held twice)
-Have appeared in several newspapers and magazines, such as Gulf Times, one of the Gulf's most pioneering newspapers.</li>
<li>Honoured by the Supreme Council of Health for a speech against smoking.</li>
<li>Have defeated university students and even the National debate team of the country. (If you're wondering, Indians are not allowed to join the National debate team)</li>

<li>Science-y stuff -</li>

<li>This is my second favourite EC</li>
<li>Won several science exhibitions at school.</li>
<li><p>Have written 1 research paper, currently working on an economic thesis.</p></li>
<li><p>Invited by the Supreme Council of Education to exhibit my research paper and a working model of my research at the Qatar National Students' Research Fair. (Nominated by ALL judges to win best research paper. Nomination rejected by the government, on the grounds that I was Indian.)</p></li>
<li><p>Have won several distinction and credit awards in international examinations (IMO,ISO,ACER etc.)</p></li>

<p>Quizzing -</p>

<li>Won first place at the prestigious IWA Bournvita Quiz, hosted by "Asia's favourite Quizmaster" - Derek O'Brien</li>
<li>Won second place at the Vodafone International Brainhunt</li>
<li>Have appeared on TV and newspapers.</li>

<p>MUNs -</p>

<p>Best delegate at MESMUN 2013 (National level) - representing China at the Security Council
Am planning to do THIMUN (International level) MUNIST (International level), WMUN (International level), QMUN and DCMUN (Both National) before I pass out of 12th
Will be applying to participate in the Jay Pee National Youth Parliament in India.</p>

<p>Art : Not much - Just 3 National art awards (2 from HSBC Qatar)
Sports : Even less - 2 swimming ribbons and an award for "fastest learning swimmer".
Music : Nothing - planning to study the violin soon, from scratch.</p>

<p>Ok, I'm used to being rejected because I'm Indian, so I want to know first-hand if Harvard, Yale or Princeton will increase my chances for rejection just because I'm an Indian. I already know they might reject me for being international. So, don;t sugar-coat anything.</p>

<p>Please recommend stuff for me to do to add value to my application..</p>

<p>I will sacrifice blood, sweat and tears to get into Harvard, Yale or Princeton, so give me the challenges where I can do so! :)</p>

<p>Anything? I mean it, if you can give me anything to do to increase admission chances, I’ll do it. (Assume I get a good ACT score)…</p>

<p>Can you please stop stressing out about it? The absolute worst attitude to have going into this is that you’ll do anything to get in. Because then you’re just putting it on a pedestal and you will be devastated if you don’t get it. I know many qualified students who applied to those schools and didn’t get in - not because they weren’t qualified enough, but simply because the school did not have enough seats. Just keep up the good work and come application time, you’ll have nothing to regret.</p>

<p>You really don’t understand the magnitude of change that acceptance into these colleges will add to to my life. But, yeah, you make a valid point. But how are my ECs otherwise? P.S Princeton is my first choice - any tips?</p>

<p>ivy leagues are a reach for everyone, but your ECs are great and assuming you get a good ACT score, i think princeton might be a low reach and harvard and yale will be mid/high reaches.</p>

<p>why there are so much trolls in chances thread? literally, how can people “get in shape” for these schools? if you’re thinking in this way, then first thing will happen to you is that you’ll get rejected.</p>

<p>Princeton is a low reach, huh? According to you, will Princeton be closer to a low match or a mid reach?</p>

<p>The OP is exactly the type of student that the HYPSM schools don’t want – the ones who need a “prestige” acceptance as self-validation, and who are overly concerned with satisfying others (admissions officers in this case).</p>

<p>I really don’t understand why Princeton would be a “low-reach” compared to Harvard or Yale. Half of our academic departments are top-ranked in the country and definitely better than Harvard’s or Yale’s. Princeton devotes an unparalleled focus to undergraduates due to its lack of professional schools. In fact, Princeton has been consistently ranked at or above Harvard for many years - definitely above Yale. Our acceptance rates parallel that of Harvard and Yale. </p>

<p>It’s hard for anybody to get into Princeton, and I also hate chance threads because they are wildly inaccurate. A kid with perfect scores and perfect ECs may only have a slightly better chance than the next kid, simply because these schools are looking for people, not numbers.</p>

<p>One question- why Harvard, Yale, or Princeton?</p>

<p>^ I think the answer’s pretty obvious.</p>

<p>This is for SoCalDad2 and 93tiger16 -</p>

<p>Look, I don’t know why everyone is shoving criticism and hate down my throat. I’m a 15 year old with a dream of getting into one of the HYPSM. I’m not American and have zero experience in the American education system. The schools I want to go to are highly selective, and I need a perspective on my achievements from people who are experienced enough and know the standard of accomplishment that these colleges expect. I would use the internet, but I thought a person’s opinion would be invaluable.</p>

<p>Evidently, I was wrong.</p>

<p>Satisfying others? This is one of my first posts. I’m brand new to CC. I didn’t know when and where to stop, so I kept adding award after award. I don’t know what an OP is, or a “prestige” acceptance for self-validation, and I certainly didn’t know that this was admission-officer-satisfying material. And when I said I would do anything - I meant it as an encouragement for people to put in their wildest suggestions, not that I would literally die of heartbreak if I don’t get in. I’m not putting anything onto a pedestal, I’m just dreaming, and you deny me that too? What if I were to travel back in time and slap you the face for thinking, even for a second, that you were Princeton material. Would you like that? Well that’s you did to me.</p>

<p>I just know two things - A) I posted this to have a reality check from other CCers, who could lend a friendly hand to an international student with 0 experience of how things work 7000 miles away and B) Instead of just giving me your opinion on my chances and maybe a small word of advice, you had to go out of your way to criticise someone so inexperienced, so deeply. </p>

<p>So, you can either help me out, or leave, to torment some other international student.
My post is for people who can construct bridges of knowledge for me to cross, not piles of blind criticism to be converted into manure…</p>

<p>Screw you CC…</p>

<p>Looking for people? I could write a whole new thread on what I am beyond the numbers. But be honest, wouldn’t the first question out of your mouth be - “What’s your SAT?” “What’s your GPA?”</p>

<p>From 1000 member strong non-profit organisations to volunteer work for the poorest of the poor and from fighting to keep kids off the street to walking my handicapped friend to his bus everyday, I can assure you that I was always beyond the numbers.</p>

<p>But no college will accept a humanitarian over a genius.</p>

<p>Let me be the first to apologize if that’s how my response came through. The reason I do not like chance threads is because they are completely and utterly unhelpful. I have seen people here who have made significant contributions to their field of study, even in high school. I’m talking about significant academic papers and projects. I am also surprised that certain people I have seen here even got in. They should not even be at a state school. Therefore, if you want a reality check, it is this: your chances are about the same as if you were to put your name in a hat with 11 other pieces of paper and pick one out. Nothing I or anybody else here say will make a difference. Chances are, if you have the quality/ability of making those significant contributions to academia, you are already doing it. If not, then that’s just who you are - the college should accept you for who you are, not for something you do just to get in. </p>

<p>Also, you need to calm down with the retaliatory comments. One ability that you need to survive at these schools is the ability to take criticism. My criticism is not unfounded; it is true that you should not change yourself to conform to a school. If you get in, you will face four years of intense criticism - that is exactly how you make yourself better and succeed. Best of luck to you.</p>

<p>To PsychoDad10 -</p>

<p>While everyone wants to go to these Universities because of its prestigious name, I want to go to them because of the study environment. You see, I’m the kind of guy who would prefer to sit at home, wrapped in my blanket, reading Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography while listening to dramatic opera, instead of partying hard all night long at a friend’s place.</p>

<p>The thirst for knowledge is revered in these institutions, while the top institutions in my country revere your scores, and don’t give a damn if you enjoyed the experience of preparing for the exam. </p>

<p>Plus Princeton and Yale are friendlier to international students who want aid.</p>

<p>By the way, you should look into the party atmosphere of these schools. You are really being presented an idyllic view here. Just Google for yourself. Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard - most people aren’t like what you think they are. There are also a lot of people at these institutions who grade grub and take classes because they’re easy, not because they are interested. </p>

<p>Also, geniuses are a needles in a haystack. There may be one or two a generation - think Einstein. Perfect SATs and GPA don’t make you a genius - they make you boring. Admissions would probably admit a kid who had lower scores (as long as they’re not too low - think 500 SATs, lower than 3.0 GPA, etc.) and spent a year in Africa improving health care in impoverished areas over a kid who had perfect SATs and GPA who sat on his ass all day.</p>

<p>To 93Tiger16 -</p>

<p>I’m really, really sorry if my comments were too hostile and harsh. I do know that the ability to endure criticism is integral to surviving in any endeavour - be it college or life in general.
And I should have shown a touch of humility in accepting yours.</p>

<p>It’s just that I know NOTHING of how to get in. So naturally I would ask the question - “How do I get in?” But now I know that a strong personality that defines me outside my ACT scores, coupled with a thirst to explore academia is a large part of the recipe.</p>

<p>Thank you so much for giving a cool and rational reply to an obviously inflated and harsh post. If anyone should be apologising, it should be me. This is my first time, and arrogance can only be cleared with more experience.</p>

<p>So, let’s start over -</p>

<p>How would you chance me for HYPMS?
Plus, could you give me a few tips on the kind of student Princeton wants.</p>

<p>Thank you :)</p>

<p>Aspirationist, it looks like you have really great extracurricular activities. I think you should stay away from this website - there are lots of types on here and focus on your studies and extracurriculars. </p>

<p>I’m a rising senior, meaning I will be applying this year, but this is my advice, if you want it. You should develop good relationships with your teachers, be a person of good character (I’m sure you are), contribute to your community and have fun. You are clearly very smart. If you can write or participate in international/national contests and do well, that is definitely a plus. Keep a record of interesting thoughts and ideas that you have, so you’ll be prepared for the many essays you’ll have to write. </p>

<p>I personally preferred the SAT1 to the ACT but I honestly never tried the ACT. I would use the test prep forums on this website to prepare- there are some truly excellent resources. You will also need to write, minimum 2 SAT subject tests. These tests are usually taken after an advanced level course in the subject is taken (AP, IB), so I would keep in mind which subject areas are your strengths- history, mathematics, biology etc. when planning your schedule. I don’t know if your school offers AP- advanced placement or IB-international baccalaureate classes. If not, you can self study and write a few AP exams independently to show your passion/self motivation. This can also come in handy if you want to apply to UK universities.</p>

<p>HYPSM are excellent schools to aim for. I would also apply to other US schools so you have options - I don’t know if you/your parents are willing to pay for comparatively lower ranked schools in the US (mine are not), but definitely look at other top universities in the US that would suit you - Caltech, Columbia, Penn, Emory etc. They are top-notch schools that are widely respected. It is a good idea to have some backup universities you wouldn’t mind attending. This means they are affordable, will most likely admit you and suit your academic needs and interests. As an international student, you will likely not have suitable ‘back-up’ or safety schools in the US, unless you are willing to pay a lot of money for comparatively low ranked schools. As such, I would encourage you to investigate universities in Qatar, India (I’m an NRI and don’t care for the Indian system), Europe and North America. I am sure you know this, but am writing this just in case. </p>

<p>As a word for ECs- don’t spread yourself too thin. If you really don’t like community service (just as an example :slight_smile: ), don’t kill yourself trying to do it. Just make sure the ECs you do are done well, and in depth. </p>

<p>The final part of the college application process comes after grade 11. I don’t know if your school is familiar with US apps, but your counselor will have to provide a school profile detailing marking practices and a recommendation (so get friendly with him or her) and two teacher recommendations are also required for top schools. For MIT, you need one science and one humanities rec, which should be comparatively easy for you. You can also attach supplementary recs from a research mentor or person who knows you very well. If you search on the internet, there are lots of good college essay resources- Harry Bauld’s writing the college essay is a prime example. Use that, your notebook and work on the essay for a while. Get it edited and make sure it really reflects YOU. </p>

<p>This: a great essay, character, standardized test scores, accomplishments, teacher recs, GC recs, supplementary recs, and transcript will make you a viable candidate for top US schools. Whether you get in or not is always going to be somewhat uncertain, since they practice ‘holistic admissions processes’ which allows them to look at many factors and decide who to admit vs just test scores. But, at the end of the day, when you finish high school, it’s important to feel that you accomplished things, grew and had a relatively good experience. Top US schools are great and I understand the appeal - great aid, prestige, resources, opportunities etc. but they’re only a small step of your total life. You are more than the uni you will attend, though I have no issue in conceding HYPSM are truly excellent schools that will help you. </p>

<p>Finally - I would look on the MIT admissions blog website for more information. They are very good and give great advice on what they’re looking for in recommendations and in students.</p>

<p>Good luck :)</p>

<p>Princeton cannot be a match, lol…</p>

<p>Aspirationist, 93tiger’s or anyone’s opinion on this forum doesn’t really matter. It’s what the admissions committee thinks. You can usually tell what such a committee wants by reading interviews of admissions officers, looking through the Princeton forum and noting the characteristics that Princeton cares the most about on its website. Also, it’s tough to chance w/o test scores.</p>