Friday, February 19, 2010

collegeconfidential: kelloggss question

please chance me for caltech!!

Magnet public school (rated #1 in canada by mccleans magazine)
GPA: Top%1 academic ranking (96.4% average out of 100%)

Major Courses:
english IB HL
history IB HL
French IB
Physics IB HL
Math IB
Chem IB
Biology IB HL
**full ib candidate

cr 730
math 780
writing 800
total 2310

800 on sat math level 2
790 on chem sat

Major ecs:
Skin cancer researcher at local university
national gold medal for medical research at canada wide science fair
intel science fair participant in may 2010
numerous local science and technology fair awards
Vice president of community league with 500 members
Varsity basketball team
local hospital volunteering
mentoring/coaching junior students competing in science competition
Top 10 ranking in city-wide math contest
school clubs

oh btw my 2 teacher refs are math and physics if that makes any difference.


You have very high SAT scores and GPA which are to be expected at Caltech. You also have a lot of extracurricular activities which hopefully showcases your interest in math/science.

After looking at grades, standardized scores, etc. the most important factors for admission are usually:
1) showing interesting in math / science (seems like your extracurriculars show that)
2) taking advanced math or science classes (above and beyond normal high school classes)
3) doing research, which you do (good job!)

I remember talking to an undergraduate friend in admissions (yes, there are undergrads who read your application) who said that a student who was did well at USAMO was denied because he had only taken up to Calculus AB. It seemed to show that he was not as interested in math because he did not take the initiative to self-study more advanced topics. (Knowledge of Calculus BC is assumed in Caltech freshman math classes.) Of course there are students who are admitted without having taken Calculus BC or physics, but it's not very common.

If you have done very good research and have a good rec from your research mentor, that is HUGE. Caltech is very theoretical and places a lot of emphasis on research. The winner of the Caltech Lingle scholarship one year (full tuition, board, and even a stipend) had been published in Nature (famous research journal).

Anyway, your chances look pretty good. Just remember to show your passion for math/sciency things!

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