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I really want to go to Harvard University (I would say MIT also, but that's next to impossible). Maybe this is a little bit too ambitious, but I still would like to try. I am hoping to apply next year.

Math SL-6-94%

French SL-7-99% (currently, this will fall as this mark is purely from writing)

Chem HL-6-96%

Physics HL-6-96%

History HL-6-93%

English HL-6-95%

What are my chances of getting into Harvard if I managed I manage to keep my marks like this?

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How are you getting 6s in each subject if all your grades are 90+? The official May 2013 grade boundaries can be found here:

http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/25025-may-2013-official-grade-boundaries/

Keep your grades up and you're probably in with a chance, but remember Harvard have the lowest acceptance rate, this year they only took in 3% of applicants.

Good luck :)

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To get in to Harvard, you need to have phenomenal grades throughout high school, good extracurricular activities, plus a high SAT/ACT score and an outstanding essay. You have the grades, and from being in IB you probably have the extracurricular activities as you need them for CAS. So, make sure you fill the other components and you definitely have a shot. The issue with top private universities is the number of students applying, though. Harvard accepted 5.9% of applicants this year, whereas there were probably 15-20% applicants who were qualified, but the dice didn't role in their favor so they were wait-listed or rejected.

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Thank you, I just really need to work on TOK, the EE and study for my SATS then. I have 6s because in my school a 6 is 92%-98%, a 7 is 99%-100%. I wish universities would be a bit more specific on their requirements!

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Thank you, I just really need to work on TOK, the EE and study for my SATS then. I have 6s because in my school a 6 is 92%-98%, a 7 is 99%-100%. I wish universities would be a bit more specific on their requirements!

Your school's grading system is crazy! :o why don't they use the official IB grade boundaries? well, even if they don't, just know that with the current grades you have, you'll be getting 7s in every subject because the highest grade boundary for a 7 that I know of is 82% :)

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I think that the link that you gave me was for the official IB EXAMS, my marks are just for the coursework so far. They are also influenced by the provincial school board. You think thats hard? Have you seen TOK? Anything below a 70 is a fail! I have a C in TOK currently because I have one mark so far which is 90%! I don't even understand the point behind TOK...

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I think that the link that you gave me was for the official IB EXAMS, my marks are just for the coursework so far. They are also influenced by the provincial school board. You think thats hard? Have you seen TOK? Anything below a 70 is a fail! I have a C in TOK currently because I have one mark so far which is 90%! I don't even understand the point behind TOK...

Last year a C was less than 50%, 28/60 to be precise

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I think that the link that you gave me was for the official IB EXAMS, my marks are just for the coursework so far. They are also influenced by the provincial school board. You think thats hard? Have you seen TOK? Anything below a 70 is a fail! I have a C in TOK currently because I have one mark so far which is 90%! I don't even understand the point behind TOK...

Last year a C was less than 50%, 28/60 to be precise

In Canada, at least here in Ontario, we do the Ontario high school diploma and the IB one at the same time, so most assessments are based on the former's syllabi and expectations. IB students get additional classes though.

Since IB is much harder than the provincial classes, usually a 90+ in the provincial class means a 7 in IB.

Yes, when we do past papers, we use the IB grade boundaries. However, since OP is in IB1 now I don't think he/she would know the difference.

Not all schools are "IB only" schools...the system in different countries, even in different schools, can be radically different.

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Marks are somewhat trivial in US uni admissions. I had a 42 predicted (out of 45) from Canada and still got rejected by Berkeley EECS :(.

Off topic, but is this after conversions? Our school gets a raw score and converts that to a converted score; e.g. an 80 raw score would convert to a 7 for most subjects (accounting for grade boundaries) which in turn convert to a 96.

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Marks are somewhat trivial in US uni admissions. I had a 42 predicted (out of 45) from Canada and still got rejected by Berkeley EECS :(.

Off topic, but is this after conversions? Our school gets a raw score and converts that to a converted score; e.g. an 80 raw score would convert to a 7 for most subjects (accounting for grade boundaries) which in turn convert to a 96.

At our school it's not. We just get the Ontario marks and convert them into the IB grades using a scale.

Some schools I've heard of use 100=7,95~99=6... but their teachers might be a bit too lenient on marking the non-IB stuff.

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Harvard is a tough university to get into - it is practically a reach for everybody. I got a 45 in IB (predicted and final mark) and an SAT 2380, and two 800s on SAT subject tests, and got rejected (not even wait-listed) based on those academic results. I had another friend who got IB 45 with a roughly similar set of SAT scores who was also rejected from Harvard. I didn't have an excess of impressive extra-curricular activities, but I definitely went far and beyond anything required for CAS. I would say that what is really crucial at universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton is the essay-writing component. You have to use those essays to prove why you are so, so, so special that you should be given preference for admission beyond those with roughly comparable academic profiles. Don't leave them too late to do, because you really do have to perfect them. :) I'm not sure about MIT, but I gather that essays are less important to the application and it is more about proving exceptional academic and intellectual interest in maths/science - which is also exceptionally difficult no doubt. Best of luck and keep working - in the end, those universities are tough to get into for pretty much anybody!

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I definitely have to agree with Flinn about the essay being a major portion of your acceptance. Over Spring Break I visited USC, UCLA, and Cal-Berkeley and all three of my tour guides plus a girl from my school who now goes to Berkeley said they feel that what set them apart from the rest were their essays. So in a way the perfect grades aren't the only factor. Honestly, that's where it comes down to the school. Some schools make a big deal about their essay, while other favor grades, and yet others focus on your extracurricular activities.

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Harvard is a tough university to get into - it is practically a reach for everybody. I got a 45 in IB (predicted and final mark) and an SAT 2380, and two 800s on SAT subject tests, and got rejected (not even wait-listed) based on those academic results. I had another friend who got IB 45 with a roughly similar set of SAT scores who was also rejected from Harvard. I didn't have an excess of impressive extra-curricular activities, but I definitely went far and beyond anything required for CAS. I would say that what is really crucial at universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton is the essay-writing component. You have to use those essays to prove why you are so, so, so special that you should be given preference for admission beyond those with roughly comparable academic profiles. Don't leave them too late to do, because you really do have to perfect them. :) I'm not sure about MIT, but I gather that essays are less important to the application and it is more about proving exceptional academic and intellectual interest in maths/science - which is also exceptionally difficult no doubt. Best of luck and keep working - in the end, those universities are tough to get into for pretty much anybody!

I knew that Harvard was tough but I didn't think it was that tough! That's insane! You got 45 and didn't get in, I'm hoping for a 42. Perhaps I should just stay in Canada, at least there is a chance of being accepted. My current marks are after conversions too. My extracurricular activities aren't exceptional (it's really just for CAS, as my social skills are somewhat lacking). Thank you for the information though, it's really helpful.

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Harvard is a tough university to get into - it is practically a reach for everybody. I got a 45 in IB (predicted and final mark) and an SAT 2380, and two 800s on SAT subject tests, and got rejected (not even wait-listed) based on those academic results. I had another friend who got IB 45 with a roughly similar set of SAT scores who was also rejected from Harvard. I didn't have an excess of impressive extra-curricular activities, but I definitely went far and beyond anything required for CAS. I would say that what is really crucial at universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton is the essay-writing component. You have to use those essays to prove why you are so, so, so special that you should be given preference for admission beyond those with roughly comparable academic profiles. Don't leave them too late to do, because you really do have to perfect them. :) I'm not sure about MIT, but I gather that essays are less important to the application and it is more about proving exceptional academic and intellectual interest in maths/science - which is also exceptionally difficult no doubt. Best of luck and keep working - in the end, those universities are tough to get into for pretty much anybody!

I knew that Harvard was tough but I didn't think it was that tough! That's insane! You got 45 and didn't get in, I'm hoping for a 42. Perhaps I should just stay in Canada, at least there is a chance of being accepted. My current marks are after conversions too. My extracurricular activities aren't exceptional (it's really just for CAS, as my social skills are somewhat lacking). Thank you for the information though, it's really helpful.

Well, I guess the point with Harvard is that lots of people with the seemingly near-perfect academic scores miss out, but it is by no means necessary to have maximum scores to get in. In terms of IB, a 42 is definitely high enough for consideration at Harvard (and assuming pretty good SATs too) but you've still got to have exceptional everything else. In the end, you've not only got to have decent academic scores (though not necessarily perfect), but exceptional ECs, essays and references. Don't be demoralised though - if you don't mind paying extra for the application, definitely try for Harvard because you may surprise yourself! Good luck. :)

EDIT: the graph here gives a really good idea of how academics are related to Harvard admission.

Edited by flinquinnster

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How are you getting 6s in each subject if all your grades are 90+? The official May 2013 grade boundaries can be found here:

http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/25025-may-2013-official-grade-boundaries/

Keep your grades up and you're probably in with a chance, but remember Harvard have the lowest acceptance rate, this year they only took in 3% of applicants.

Good luck :)

Wrong, Harvard accepted 5.9%. Stanford was lowest, with 5.1%.

US universities and colleges conduct a holistic review when considering applicants - this means that your GPA and test scores don't guarantee you admission; your essays have to be well-written and you should have extra-curricular activities, awards, etc.

So I would say apply broadly, don't think you have a higher/lower chance at a university. Here in the U.S., we say the college admissions process is a "crapshoot". :) You should definitely apply to a "safety" school, which means a school which (1) is completely affordable, (2) you can definitely get into, and (3) which you would like to go to. Although Harvard & MIT are well known, these are not safeties; they're more "dream schools". You should do a thorough research of universities which you like and definitely apply to safeties. Good luck!

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I really want to go to Harvard University (I would say MIT also, but that's next to impossible). Maybe this is a little bit too ambitious, but I still would like to try. I am hoping to apply next year.

Math SL-6-94%

French SL-7-99% (currently, this will fall as this mark is purely from writing)

Chem HL-6-96%

Physics HL-6-96%

History HL-6-93%

English HL-6-95%

What are my chances of getting into Harvard if I managed I manage to keep my marks like this?

looking at your levels, you'll need to work harder. Your total cannot exceed 40 points at this stage, and although there are holistic admissions, a higher grade increases your chances. There are very many applicants with 40+ so you should and can work to push these grades up.

good luck

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How are you getting 6s in each subject if all your grades are 90+? The official May 2013 grade boundaries can be found here:

http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/25025-may-2013-official-grade-boundaries/

Keep your grades up and you're probably in with a chance, but remember Harvard have the lowest acceptance rate, this year they only took in 3% of applicants.

Good luck :)

Wrong, Harvard accepted 5.9%. Stanford was lowest, with 5.1%.

Haha sorry :P I based my figures off of what our teacher told us

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I suspect that high grades are not actually a basis for serious consideration of your application - rather, it is a box for them to check. A pre-requisite to be considered, if you will.

I had a few friends who are currently in MIT, and the fact of the matter was that you could *tell* they were heading there eventually. The way they talked about their subject with confidence, curiosity and passion was inspiring. These were the kids that were heading places regardless of the university they eventually went to, and that was what made them attractive to the best universities. They were also the people tinkering around with their outdated robotics technology after school ended.

When I read their essays, and their references, it was a class higher than the average students'. Their essays showed a genuine passion in their subject/field, and their reference was not the standard "X is a very capable and diligent student blah blah". The references mentioned the potential of the student, their non-standard traits (an almost compulsive need to question facts, or the rather annoying habit of pestering their teacher with questions not in the syllabus), an anecdote or two about the uniqueness of the student, etc.

In fact, their essays were - for lack of a better word - "quirky". They were just a little too informal, not particularly stylishly written or even (gasp!) had bullet points. However, they were shockingly interesting and heartfelt. The admissions personnel would have to be mad not to seriously consider them.

Hence, I think perhaps you should focus less on getting good marks to "get into" Harvard or MIT or any of those universities, and instead focus on developing yourself in the field you like. The IB is easy to score well in - it's not particularly a great achievement by itself, and US universities tend to recognize this. Do well in the IB to get your foot in the door, but it's really only your passion and drive in the actual subject itself that'll get you into the very best universities.

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I suspect that high grades are not actually a basis for serious consideration of your application - rather, it is a box for them to check. A pre-requisite to be considered, if you will.

I had a few friends who are currently in MIT, and the fact of the matter was that you could *tell* they were heading there eventually. The way they talked about their subject with confidence, curiosity and passion was inspiring. These were the kids that were heading places regardless of the university they eventually went to, and that was what made them attractive to the best universities. They were also the people tinkering around with their outdated robotics technology after school ended.

When I read their essays, and their references, it was a class higher than the average students'. Their essays showed a genuine passion in their subject/field, and their reference was not the standard "X is a very capable and diligent student blah blah". The references mentioned the potential of the student, their non-standard traits (an almost compulsive need to question facts, or the rather annoying habit of pestering their teacher with questions not in the syllabus), an anecdote or two about the uniqueness of the student, etc.

In fact, their essays were - for lack of a better word - "quirky". They were just a little too informal, not particularly stylishly written or even (gasp!) had bullet points. However, they were shockingly interesting and heartfelt. The admissions personnel would have to be mad not to seriously consider them.

Hence, I think perhaps you should focus less on getting good marks to "get into" Harvard or MIT or any of those universities, and instead focus on developing yourself in the field you like. The IB is easy to score well in - it's not particularly a great achievement by itself, and US universities tend to recognize this. Do well in the IB to get your foot in the door, but it's really only your passion and drive in the actual subject itself that'll get you into the very best universities.

perfect answer (Y)

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