Jump to content

ATROCIOUS IB GRADE, great ECs and Portfolio, Help!

Recommended Posts

Hi there!

I am in G12, and now an applicant mainly targeting top 20s for chemistry+graphic/industrial design dual degree or design major (which means I am choosing chemistry as a second major at second year of college)

My stats are okey: 720R, 780M, 110 TOEFL, 760 chem and 740 math (gonna retake probably)

However, I have a 3.7~3.8 cumulative UW GPA with a 34 out of 42 at last semester in IB. (The average of two semesters is 36) Scores are really not my forte.

I do have good ECs and a strong art/design portfolio (my teacher said that my portfolio has the level of work of an MFA student) My project and my portfolio website: https://www.behance.net/aquilinahu5ef0 (portfolio) https://www.periodicgraphicsofelements.com/ (my Periodic Table project)

ECs:

Founder of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Educational program Alchemy. around 900+ followers. Sub-program being published on university of Waterloo’s magazine and one of the most prestigious universities in Pakistan. Featured by American Chemical Society (long term), Russian Embassy in America, Chinese Academy of Sciences and etc. Award given by Uni. of Waterloo. Interviewed Nature Chemistry editor and the Author of the book series ‘The Elements: A Visual Exploration’. Co-published 1 time with my mentor's program, who is an (some kind of) associate professor at the University of Science and Technology of China (one of the outstanding universities here). He focuses on scientific communication through digital media.

Chem blog with a post recommended by the Royal Society of Chemistry at Britain.

President of school science club for 2 years.

6 week Pre-college at Rhode Island of Design (America's best university). Obtained very good recommendation letter.

Scientific artist of one of the peer-reviewed teenage scientific journal (sponsored by the London International Youth Science Forum, had collaborations with the Royal Society in Britain and Dyson). We currently have at least 6700+ followers. Also helped arrange the conference at Cambridge uni.

Astronomy internship at The National Astronomical Observatory of Chinese Academy of Sciences (most prestigious scientific research centre at China)

Regional piano gold award gained at G9

Consistent member of school’s student government and graphic design group

Member of school’s philosophy club

Graphic designer for a film festival around international schools nation-wide and world-wide (in collaboration with Italian Education Ministry, I think...)

As for recommendation letters and essays, I would say they would be really good. Wrote about my interdisciplinary approach towards thinking and visual science communication.

I am really not a top academic student, and tbh I blame myself for that. Will the poor GPA hurt me? Should I drop out of the program and take AP exams instead?

Edited by Aquilina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again,
1) Regarding grades: I think you are at or have exceeded the threshold of SAT scores (American) universities are looking for. Since you have amazing extracurriculars and recommendation letters, you still have good chance to get into some great schools.
2) Regarding AP: I wouldn't say IB is hurting your application per se as most American universities need a transcript update early spring so you still have time to improve your grades. I wouldn't consider most AP courses easier than their IB counterparts so unless you get all 4s and 5s it will not really help your application. 

3) Regarding EC: I believe your ECs are using more of your energy than necessary. Since you got 38 last semester certainly if you put aside a few of the ECs for 2-3 months you can get back to 38 again. It's not just a matter of time, but when you are divesting your energy, you are not as focused on schoolwork, even if you do your homework diligently. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you apply for an arts program your portfolio will really factor into the university's decision. Many of your accomplishments are artistically related, and admissions officers will judge those by your portfolio.

I had a laugh at your saying that you're not a top academic student and "poor grades", give me a break. Being slightly statistically above average in IB is actually very good. Sure, they might not be good enough for for "tip top" schools (You might have to extend your sights to the 30's. Don't worry, they aren't horrible.) but for anything below that I think you're in the running considering your achievements. I'm thinking along the lines of @kw0573, you won't get in everywhere but you just need one admissions officer to fall in love with you and you'll be admitted to a good school.

It goes without saying, but when universities give you an option, submit your portfolio. Possibly even when you're applying to straight chemistry programs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Nomenclature said:

If you apply for an arts program your portfolio will really factor into the university's decision. Many of your accomplishments are artistically related, and admissions officers will judge those by your portfolio.

I had a laugh at your saying that you're not a top academic student and "poor grades", give me a break. Being slightly statistically above average in IB is actually very good. Sure, they might not be good enough for for "tip top" schools (You might have to extend your sights to the 30's. Don't worry, they aren't horrible.) but for anything below that I think you're in the running considering your achievements. I'm thinking along the lines of @kw0573, you won't get in everywhere but you just need one admissions officer to fall in love with you and you'll be admitted to a good school.

It goes without saying, but when universities give you an option, submit your portfolio. Possibly even when you're applying to straight chemistry programs.

 

I have applied for Brown ED, UVA, UNC EA and UIUC EA for Studio Art. I'll be applying for Brown RISD Program, CMU BSA, Tufts+SMFA and several LACs that put less emphasis on GPA/IB scores. My portfolio was handed in through Slideroom. 

Edited by Aquilina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same thoughts as @Nomenclature, just one more thing. Of course, you wouldn't be admitted EVERYWHERE, but I think you should be more interested in getting scholarships. The universities you've applied to will definitely accept you. One question, completely irrelevant to the discussion. I hope you don't mind me asking but how old are you? I'm sitting here telling myself that there is no way someone around the age of 17 can do all those things :lc:

Edited by IJustWanaPass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, IJustWanaPass said:

 I hope you don't mind me asking but how old are you? I'm sitting here telling myself that there is no way someone around the age of 17 can do all those things :lc:

I am nearly 18. As the only chemistry HL student in my grade, I was required to carve my own path in regards to my projects. Actually, ECs really come down to passion and dedication. Everyone can do something special if they invest their hard work into it. 

5 hours ago, IJustWanaPass said:

The universities you've applied to will definitely accept you.

That's not quite true....4 days till my rejection letter from Brown for the Brown RISD Program. 

Edited by Aquilina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if it is not too late, try applying for universities with a lower rank and slightly less competitive program as plan B just in case you don't get accepted into any of the ones you mentioned.

Best of luck with the admissions.

Also, who's the anime character on your profile?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/23/2017 at 3:34 PM, Aquilina said:

I just checked my report card last week and found that I had a 38 back!

Bad news is that I got a straight rejection from the BRDD program :(

It's that time of the month huh? Sorry to hear it :/ 

Isn't that program restrictive to the extreme though? I thought it's possible to have gotten into to either Brown or RISD despite not getting into the program.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IB`NOT`ez said:

It's that time of the month huh? Sorry to hear it :/ 

Isn't that program restrictive to the extreme though? I thought it's possible to have gotten into to either Brown or RISD despite not getting into the program.

 

 

This year's admission of Chinese students has been very weird. A possible reason could be that adcoms see my work combining chemistry and art/design as my superficial understanding of chemistry. They might not think I am interested in learning hard chemical facts rather than fussing over beautiful chemical experiments. Since I don't plan on becoming a chemist, my profile lacks the feel of a 'future chemist' that the adcoms may want. Anyways I got into U of I at Urbana Champaign for graphic design, and now waiting for rd decisions to come out to make my choice. 

Edited by Aquilina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.