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IB_Mark

Harvard , MIT and the ivy leagues

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Hey , my goal is to be able to enter one of the ivy leagues in US , mainly because of the 100% scholarship aid they can offer to those who need it .

Anyway , besides having an amazing strive and passion and being unique over other , I want to know what else do I need ? I'm currently doing IB and taking my SAT in June so I just want to know what kind of IB scores and SAT scores would it require to enter Harvard , MIT , Princeton , Brown , Cornell , Yale .

I know I seem like i'm dreaming huge , but I know anything is possible if one puts enough effort into it .

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They all require certain level to be achieved, I would say ~2100 for SATs and ~40 IB points. On the other hand people with perfect SATs get rejected quite often.

After you achieve certain level, it is all about your ECs and essays. You really have to stand out in order to get into those institutions.

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^ Well said. ECs and essays are a significant part of the application compared to schools in other countries. I would say for Cornell, the requirements are not as high (~2100 SAT, ~40IB will do). Remember for some of the schools (Harvard is the only one I'm certain of), you're required to take 3 SAT subject tests. For those 3, you're probably looking at ~750 for each. However, for the other schools, especially HYP, you've got no guarantees at all. I've seen people with 45 IB points and a stellar SAT score get rejected from those sort of schools (hence the importance of ECs and essays). Think about the interviews as well, because they reveal quite a lot about your character to the school.

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Remember for some of the schools (Harvard is the only one I'm certain of), you're required to take 3 SAT subject tests. For those 3, you're probably looking at ~750 for each.

That's actually not true anymore. As of this year, Harvard only requires two SAT subject tests. But it obviously wouldn't hurt to do more (provided that you score highly).

Just make sure you check all of the requirements for the schools you apply to. Some might require three SAT IIs.

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^ Thanks for the correction. You'll still want to take 3 subject tests to stay competitive, since I bet most applicants to the high reach schools will have done 3.

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Strangely enough, I've never taken any SAT subject tests, and I've applied to Harvard, and it says in my online application status checkup thing that I've sent all the required forms.

My ECs are pretty crappy, my essay I wrote in the two hours before the deadline, my test scores are good, and my GPA is shoddy. We will see what happens! Bit of a lottery with the Ivies though, I think, purely because of the high applicant to places ratio.

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Thanks for the replies! , I'm more worried about SAT and IB points required as of now since I'm a year away from application time but pretty near my IB and SAT exams .

So for harvard if I get above 2100 and above 40 points , I just need to do well in the interview , essay and EC ?

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Well, it really depends. I'm not trying to freak you out here or anything, but my brother goes to Harvard, and his application was something like this:

National Merit Scholarship Finalist

2390 on SAT

800s on 2 SAT subjects, 790 on one

IB, with diploma

Valedictorian

All - State Texas Bassoonist for 3 years

President of Latin Club, Math Club

and some (a lot of) other stuff.

Promise I'm not trying to freak you out! :P

I happen to be getting a lot of lectures by him (frequently) about applying to colleges. I think you should really shoot for a 2250+, do well in IB, have good SAT subject test scores, and have extracurriculars you've really focused on. Those are the main points that he said got him in. The interview is just to make sure you're not crazy. Basically.

Good luck! :]

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The people that got accepted into Harvard from my school were pretty crazy too. One took his IB Math exam before he started high school. o-o

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No one on this thread has mentioned American universities don't really care about your IB scores...and all the ivies + MIT are American universities. They do like to see IB diploma candidates though.

Obviously, it doesn't look good if you have low predicted scores but universities take them with a grain of salt as many American high schools don't send predicted scores. Course load, test scores, essays, and extra curriculars are much more important.

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Which IB will certainly help with. :)

The essay is a very important part of the application, but can vary in importance depending upon the college.

Extra curriculars are very important too. If a person with a 40 score (or a 3.8 unweighted gpa) with very little Extra Curricular Activities applies to a school, the school is more likely to accept a person who has slightly lower scores, but more extracurriculars.

Many Americans apply to top schools with very great grades/scores. Extracurriculars and your essay can help to diversify yourself from the bunch. Great grades/scores do help alot though. :)

Edited by JoeGuff

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Playing a sport or doing something that can benefit their community like band, etc. gives you a large advantage. Also not all of the Ivy Leagues require insane SAT scores. Their requirements fluctuate slightly. For example, I think Princeton and Harvard require higher scores than say Brown and Cornell. Also I've been told that at Harvard the interviews are of high importance.

*edit: My apologies for the bump. I didn't check the date of the post.

Edited by Sike

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Sike its all good, the more info the better.

I didn't know that the interview is a big part for Harvard, does this apply for int'n applicants as well?

Also, do you know what SAT score Brown and Cornell would want?

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I don't think the interview play a big part for Harvard- I had one a few weeks ago and the interviewer himself told me so. It is definitely far less important than your transcript and SAT scores.

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I'm pretty sure the Ivy League colleges and MIT could care less about how many IB points you have. They mostly just use the scores to calculate how much college credit you can get.

And @timtamboy63 here's some info about Brown and Cornell that I got off the collegeboard website regarding SATs. The scores are the middle 50% of their admitted freshmen:

Brown

SAT Critical Reading: 660 - 760

SAT Math: 670 - 770

SAT Writing: 670 - 770

Cornell

SAT Critical Reading: 640 - 730

SAT Math: 670 - 770

No info on the SAT writing section from Cornell. Here's the link if you'd like to check up other colleges: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/csearch/index.html?affiliateId=rdr&bannerId=csearch

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I don't think the interview play a big part for Harvard- I had one a few weeks ago and the interviewer himself told me so. It is definitely far less important than your transcript and SAT scores.

[

well maybe it is different for athletics, because a coach there told me that interviews are important.

Edited by Sike

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I think Daedalus mentioned it but the Ivies are a lottery...

But in order to be considered for the lottery you generally need to have test scores in the 2200 range (97th percentile or higher would be nice), high IB scores (not necessarily a 40/45, just high enough to make you stand out from the rest of the people at your school), and decent subject tests (700+ is essential).

There are exceptions, however. If you are a stand out in one particular field, say, for example, science, and have demonstrated unusual skill at an early age (like maybe published something in an academic journal), then in that case poor scores may be excused.

Case in point: A student from my school with an 1800 SAT and 24/45 on IB was accepted to quite a few Ivies (waitlisted at Harvard, however), and is now enjoying a free ride scholarship at Stanford. He won a national essay contest and was the head of an international debate team.

These tend to be exceptions, however. Also of note, a 2100 on the SAT is good, but the higher the better (there are a lot of students with 2100+). With extra curriculars just do what you love, and make it show.

Lastly, don't let rumors fool you! I don't know if anyone mentioned it but do not write a sob story on the essay...you probably will get denied just for that.

Hope this helps a bit!

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yeah, I'm preparing for ivy league app as well, but I don't think I'll get in.

When I was talking to my friends who live in the states, they all told me that admission to ivy league is

99% luck because most of the applicants are all competent (almost perfect gpa, perfect score on SAT, excellent list of ECs...etc)

I heard that they don't really value IB as much as they value AP (which I think is ridiculous).

So yeah! make sure you have some safeties when you apply to ivies because it's extreeeeeeeemely hard to get in.

I'm going to apply for all of the ivy league schools and the top 3 unis in Australia as a safety.

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yeah, I'm preparing for ivy league app as well, but I don't think I'll get in.

When I was talking to my friends who live in the states, they all told me that admission to ivy league is

99% luck because most of the applicants are all competent (almost perfect gpa, perfect score on SAT, excellent list of ECs...etc)

I heard that they don't really value IB as much as they value AP (which I think is ridiculous).

So yeah! make sure you have some safeties when you apply to ivies because it's extreeeeeeeemely hard to get in.

I'm going to apply for all of the ivy league schools and the top 3 unis in Australia as a safety.

They don't necessarily value IB less than AP. In fact IB is generally considered la creme de la creme-generally they think it's better, if implemented correctly.

In the U.S, a lot of IB schools are downright horrible-in fact, I go to one. Universities know this, and will discriminate appropriately. AP schools are on average better executed than IB schools in the U.S. SO even though they are a helluva lot easier, they can be better. Universities know which ones are good and which ones aren't.

I think your strategy is good (applying to all of them), but it will be costly-application fees are steep. I was denied from Princeton/Harvard, but got into some other awesome schools so I am happy-the strategy works.

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No actually IB is NOT valued as much as AP. At best it's valued the same.

Think Math SL. You cover basically all of the Calculus AB material, yet colleges won't give you the same credit for Math SL.

Think Physics HL. Those passing AP Physics C with a 5 are granted placement out of many of the introduction courses. Physics HL is only granted placement out of 101.

Alot of the US colleges calculate the IB results out of 42 - showing that they really don't care about EE or TOK.

Also, while a college will give credit to someone scoring 5 on an AP test, they will only give the same credit to someone getting 7 in the IB test. This is outrageous. We all know how hard it is for a student to get 7 in an IB exam as opposed to the APs. 4% of History HL candidates get a 7. Over 10% get 5s in APUSH, Euro and World. IB is much more difficult.

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Since AP is an american program, State universities will generally prefer Advanced Placement over International Baccalaureate.

IB's a lot more popular amongst European universities, though their standards for IB students there are quiet high as well (and rather unfair compared to their A-Level expectations).

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from my personal experience, with regards to credits in the ivies, as long as you are of a certain level, it doesn't matter if you took IB or AP. they WILL let you enroll in higher level courses if you are competent enough.

For example, if you took Math SL, but was confident enough to go straight to multivariable calculus - they will not stop you.

i think the most important thing in ivy league admissions (not trying to sound cliched, but), you have to differentiate yourself. make yourself stand out somehow. everyone applying will have great transcripts and amazing ECs. i found inspiration on how to turn my application into a story via watching movies such as "precious" and "the fighter". i feel like if you take the admissions officer on a journey he/she will not forget, he/she cannot reject you. people always warn students not to get too personal in their essays or applications, but i disagree. if you are putting a wall between you and the person reading your application, even if you get admitted, it wont be based on who you actually are, but rather on the person who you say you are on paper.

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2200+ SAT / 33+ ACT are generally a good bet in the US.

Most quality US universities consider IB to be the most or among the most rigorous courseloads you can take (comparable to or better than taking practically all APs). Any admissions offices that don't value the IB highly are silly and way behind the times. For purposes of admissions, IB is as good as or better than AP. For purposes of credit once you're admitted, they're still far more generous with AP. Somehow it makes sense to give more credit for exams that are generally considered easier and to require scores quite arguably above the AP --> IB rough equivalent.

At Ivies and other extremely selective institutions, most of the applicants are academically strong. While there is definitely a lot of emphasis on your standardized test scores and your transcripts (but little to none on IB predicted scores) - and you will not be admitted if they're not up to snuff, the bulk of the admissions decision is made with your essays, activities, awards, and accomplishments (because these are the things that differentiate between the massive numbers of academically qualified students).

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Good luck.

My dream is to get into MIT.

I'll keep dreaming till I get my rejection letter.

I wish you better luck. :)

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