Please chance for MIT, Caltech and others, need advice!

<p>Hi, I am going to be a senior next year and am thinking about applying to many schools but need advice on my chances and test taking because I do not want to waste 70 dollars every time I apply somewhere if there is no chance.</p>

Race: White
Location: Texas</p>

<p>Current Class Rank: 18/~360 (in top 5%,will go up after they include last semester so probably 15/16)</p>

<p>Grades: A's and a few B's here and there (2 a year, high B's though like 88)
Enrolled in every honor course I can possibly take. (B's were in PAP\AP classes)
Last year for junior year, all A's and one B for final. Had 4 AP classes, 3 PAP, and Academic Decathlon.</p>

<p>GPA: ~3.8 </p>

<p>AP Tests/Classes</p>

AP Human Geography (4), high A
AP World History (5), low A</p>

AP Statistics, mid A
AP US History, high B
AP Computer Science A, perfect A
AP English, high A</p>

AP Government
AP Macroeconomics
AP Chemistry
AP Physics BC
AP Art History
AP English
AP Calculus BC</p>

<p>SAT: 2150 (Math: 690 Ouch..., CR: 800, W: 660)
I can do much better in Math just had stupid errors but what I want to ask is if I should apply for early action using that SAT. I can still take the ACT and use that on early action applications, I cannot take SAT in october because of subject tests. Any advice regarding this? Want to do early action because at Caltech acceptance rate is almost 3X higher for EA</p>


<p>Academic Decathlon (for more than 20 hrs a week)
Founder and President of Chess Club
President of Computer Science Club
Historian of Mu Alpha Theta
NASA Inspire (Next year)
UIL Science, Math, Computer Science, Spelling, Computer Applications (No awards really)
Made a HUGE Java game with friend, should I include it on my application? You should be able to download it if you want to try it at, it uses Java and will lag when you have more than 1 AI enemy, still working out the bugs so it is not really ready...yet.
It is a 2 player action rpg where you will be able to play as different unique characters.</p>

1st in region academic decathlon (Many awards will list on trancscript, won like 10)
Academic Decathlon State: 1st in Math, 2nd in Economics, 3rd in Science, team 3rd in state
Other small awards</p>

<p>Summer Stuff:
Traveled to Europe for 2 weeks
Studied ACDEC, currently beta testing for DemiDec company
Southwest Youth Leadership Conference
Doing MIT Open Courseware for calculus and physics topics</p>

<p>Colleges I Want to Apply to: (Please chance for these schools)
University of Texas at Austin</p>

<p>Want to major in Physics of Astrophysics</p>

<p>Probably forgetting something in there..........</p>

<p>Please give me your thoughts below, thanks in advance.</p>

<p>Any advice, want to hear at least a few comments. Thanks.</p>

<p>bump, can at least a few people offer advice?</p>

<p>An 88 is a B? Here in Canada, everything above 85 is an A. </p>

<p>I think the essay is a major component to how admissions looks at your application. What is your passion? You are a well-rounded and hard working student, but colleges want interesting classes, rather than ones full of hard workers.</p>

<p>The Java game is a plus, you can base your essay on that. And your EC's are pretty good.</p>

<p>I don't really know how to "chance" you. Percentage? Stars?</p>

<p>Close to no chance at Caltech - nothing stands out and you have 690 in Math.
Same with Princeton and MIT.
Below average ECs too for listed schools.</p>

<p>You definitely need some safeties..</p>

<p>I would not apply with that SAT score, better to retake and wait for RD.</p>

<p>I think your ECs are very good- especially the academic decathlon. I think the biggest concern is the 690 in math. That is quite low for Cal Tech or MIT. Also, the class rank is a liitle low for the really top schools. I would focus on getting your math score up.</p>

<p>Thanks for the help guys.
I will probably take the ACT in a few months and will retake the SAT for regular decision colleges in the Winter if I don't do that well on the ACT.</p>

<p>And to answer passion/essay question: I am planning to write some creative essay about my passion for science and innovation. Will probably spend 2 months on it and others.</p>

<p>Any more advice/help?</p>

<p>Hi phxfire, if you want to stand a chance at Caltech/MIT, you MUST get a range of 780-800 for math SAT I. You also need to score >750 for two of your science subject tests. Your java game sounds impressive. I really think you ought to include that on your application! The people who usually apply Caltech EA have extremely high test scores, AP scores, and outstanding ECs (ex. Intel, Siemens, RSI, national olympiads). So if I were you, if I didn't get a 35/36 on the math component on the ACT, I really wouldn't want to apply EA. All the best! (:</p>

<p>Oh and like what HKtoUS said, perhaps you should consider some safety schools like Georgia Tech and UMichigan.</p>

<p>If you get your Math up to -1 (770+) then you have a much better shot at MIT/Caltech, because you are good at math and applying math (your java game)</p>

<p>Cornell-low reach
Princeton-high reach (don't be offended, its like that for everyone)
Rice- good shot/ high target</p>

<p>UT- isn't there some rule that if you are in the top 10% you can get in any public University in Texas? If so- In, If not- still in</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Ya I basically put UT there for a safety school, this summer I need to research more to find some more safety schools.</p>

<p>I know my SAT math was bad, made 3 stupid mistakes. Will definitely read word problem functions more carefully next time. XD</p>

<p>Any more advice?</p>

<p>Your Academic Decathlon hours seem like a massive exaggeration and I do not thinkthat an admission officer will believe those hours unless they are corroborated by a teacher recommendation. SAT I is too low (especially Math), and GPA is slightly below average too.</p>

<p>Onto your ECs. Let me just say that aren't as good as people make them out to be. Academic Decathlon is good if you aren't lying about the hours and someone can back up that claim through the form of a recommendation etc. NHS is too common to be of help. Leadership in Chess Club is not that useful unless you made an impact on society. Put in another way, you can be the President of the Computer Game Club in your school but it won't be of any help in the application process in that the club, in itself, is useless on a societal level. Mu Alpha Theta seems alright and I do not know about NASA Inspire but I do not think it is that good because I have seen it many times on this site (usually amazing ECs like RSI etc. are rarely seen, even by the exorbitant standards of some of the users on this website). Your java game is just like the anecdote I gave earlier about the Computer Game Club. No impact. It would have been good if you wanted to major in Computer Science or something of the sort but you seem to be applying for Physics.</p>

<p>Sorry to be harsh but I am sure you do not want false hope. I am open to opinions for I too mistakes, after all I am only human.</p>

<p>Caltech - very high reach
MIT - very high reach
Cornell - mid/high reach
Princeton - high reach
Rice - I do not know much about this university but from what I have read, it is selective, so mid reach
UT - low reach</p>

<p>@kwaldner University of Michigan (I presume you are talking about Ann-Arbor) is in no way a safety. Same for Georgia Tech. It is rarely a safety, but those require amazing statistics.. and even if he had those, his SAT Math would make it impossible to call any of those schools safeties.</p>

<p>@JebarPolsky thanks for putting it so nicely (sarcasm), how is UT a reach? ***?</p>

<p>Ok so ya I understand I need to retake the SAT math, and yes I actually did do acdec for about 20 hours a week. 2-3 hours after school every day during the winter, and we had meetings on sundays. Started some meetings in the summer before school, so we were very dedicated.</p>

<p>anyone else? oh and "try" to be nice. :)</p>

<p>I admit, I do not know much about UT. I am presuming you posted on this forum to get objective information regarding your chances, not false affirmation of what you want to hear.</p>

<p>Like I said, if your Academic Decathlon is true, then it is good. Good to see you understand the issue with your math score.</p>

<p>Maybe you should look through the stats of accepted students at MIT and Caltech before posting here.</p>

<p>Georgia Tech is a great science and engineering school, and phxfire, I do think you should also apply there since your SAT scores are well within the range.</p>

<p>From GT website:
Competitive ranges (mid-50%) of SAT scores:
1920-2160 (1310 - 1470 CR/M only)
Mid 50% GPA: 3.67 - 4.04</p>

<p>As for UMichigan, here's their 2009 freshman class profile statistics (middle 50%):
SAT Critical Reading 620–730
SAT Math 660–770
SAT Writing 630–730
SAT Total of 1940–2190
66% of students with a 3.8 GPA or higher</p>

<p>For your own interest, this is the 2009 MIT freshman class profile statistics (middle 50%):
SAT Critical Reading 670–770
SAT Math 730–800 </p>

<p>And here's Caltech's:
SAT mid-50%: 2170-2300<br>
ACT mid-50% (composite): 33–35
Percent in top tenth graduating class: 98%
Percent in top quarter of graduating class: 100% </p>

<p>I hope you have a better idea now and the score to aim for! (: Btw, your CR score is fantastic! Oh and no matter what people may say, I strongly encourage you to apply schools like Caltech and MIT, who knows you may be accepted. After all, you only have one chance in this lifetime to apply to these schools (if you're not going on to grad school).</p>

<p>@JetPolsky: UT is definitely a match...</p>

<p>You must realize that upwards of 40% of accepted students have major hooks like URM, first generation, legacy and recruited athlete. Those ranges posted are for the school as a whole. The average goes up higher for hookless students, and even higher for students who are applying for competitive courses. I would anticipate the average SAT score of a hookless student applying for competitive courses at MIT/Caltech to be between 2250-2350.</p>

<p>@ JebarPolsky, are you always so pessimistic. :(</p>

<p>Thanks kwaldner for the help, I will be applying no matter what people say, I am just trying to realistically gauge my chances of getting into these colleges. I believe that there is always a chance to get into the top colleges it just matters on how passionate you are in your essays and who is reading your application.</p>

<p>I have to retake the SAT or do ACT to have a shot. Thinking I could just try to get into cornell or rice and do Caltech/MIT for graduate school but I will still apply for undergrad.</p>

<p>GT and Michigan are good for Physics? I thought they were primarily engineering basically considering colleges with reputations for great physics programs, will do more research this summer, might add stanford, berkeley, and U of Chicago to this list.</p>

<p>Does anyone have any ideas of how I could better my application, besides test scores because I will try to better those in coming the months</p>

<p>IMHO, unless you have improved your SAT Math, I would not send out any apps, especially you want major in physics in MIT and Caltech.</p>