Chances of Getting Into MIT w/Sophomore Year Grades

In summary, your family's recent hardships have had a negative impact on your grades, but they're not going to automatically prevent you from getting into a top college like MIT. You have to remember that there are many factors that go into a student's admissions status, and that you can still achieve your goals even if you don't get into the school of your dreams. Keep working hard, and don't give up on your dreams.
  • #1
RickTheBrick
2
0
I'm a sixteen-year-old sophomore in an IB school in Florida. This past semester I have had many terrible family occurrences that have contributed to a less than stellar performance for my first semester of sophomore year. I had received an A in my AP statistics, Calculus AB, Computer Science A, and Macroeconomics, a B in everything else, and a C in AP literature and Composition. Now my question is, will this C ruin my chances to get into MIT? Now I don't have an MIT-or-bust attitude, I simply want to get into a good school, and since my parents are immigrants from a less than fortunate background, they see MIT as epitomizing their desires for me to have a good education. I also have developed a strong desire to go because a friend of mine, who is currently a freshman there, took me in last year and mentored me in mathematics. Mathematics is my one love which has helped me to get through the tough times. I'm currently working on a big project to create a blog to teach math in the vein of khan academy, but with more of an emphasis on rigorous mathematics. I'm also working on a big Computer Science project that I hope to go to a science fair with, and hopefully go far. I know I'm fully capable of getting straight A's but my grandfather's death in the first semester deeply affected me and my grades fell as a result. What I want to know is, will schools like MIT take this sort of thing into account? I know it's a crapshoot but I am so passionate about mathematics and I want to make my parents proud. They go out of their way to purchase Apostol, rudin, polya, artin, etc., so that I may advance my education. Sometimes at the expense of food on the table. I don't want to put them through all that just to disappoint them.
 
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  • #2
I'm sorry about your family situation, particularly the loss of your grandfather. It's a tough thing to go through for anyone, but particularly at your age. I understand how something like this can amplify the stress of worrying about your own future. I say all this because I want to be very clear in the following that I'm very sympathetic for your situation and am not saying the following to be mean but because I think you need a bit of a firm shake:

You're being tremendously melodramatic. One single mark—for a 10th grade class in an unrelated discipline—is never going to singlehandedly disqualify an application. Will it impact it? Who knows, depends on tonnes factors that no one can know and, more importantly, that you can't control. Universities put more emphasis on senior performance, but they look at the whole picture. That's all this is—one small piece of a larger picture. It doesn't mean they're going to bin your application at the sight of a C, nor does it mean that getting straight A's for the rest of your high school will guarantee a place. It's such a small event that it's hard to even say it means anything at all.

Something I think you need to consider is: why even ask this? I understand, you're just hoping for some reassurance in a touch time. But what if the answer were, "Yes, that's it, sorry but it's all over for you now"? It's not, of course, but if it were would you then stop trying to earn those straight A's in school? I doubt it. So why drive yourself crazy over something you no longer have control over? You're interested and motivated and you want to succeed and do yourself and your family proud, so you'll keep working hard regardless. You gain absolutely nothing by trying to over-analyze everything that happens and figure out what the possible impact that it might have on your future is. If you have a panic attack every time something doesn't go according to your "MIT master plan" in the next couple of years, you're going to have an aneurism before you can even get to college.

Keep doing what you're doing and, whatever the outcome, you'll have every reasons to be proud of yourself when you start university. Best of luck with your MIT ambitions. It's clear you're very grateful to your parents for everything they do and it's great you want to do them proud; just don't get so wrapped up in your preoccupation with getting to where you think you should be in two years that you forget to be what they need you to be right now in what's also a tough time for them. Whatever musicians may sing, life isn't a highway and if all you do is watch the road in front of you or stare into your rear view mirror you'll miss the bits that really matter.
 
  • #3
Thanks for the quick reply, I know I can get very melodramatic, but being from my background where people constantly constantly put you down, can do that to you. Anyway I know that MIT isn't the be all end all, I just really want to learn as much as I physically can, cause I just love learning and I know that I can do that at plenty of places, just a dream school mentality that people my age tend to hold I guess. >_<
 
  • #4
Also, just because person X is even accepted to MIT doesn't make MIT the best place for person X. A place like MIT crushes people's egos very easily because of its extremely high standards as a school. Many students accepted to MIT are among the best in the entire world. You can imagine what happens when students like these compete with one another for the highest grades. There are sabotages and suicides even. A lot of students who are used to "being the best" as a motivation for their hard work will find the place very stressful. I have friends at MIT who sleep less than 4 hours a day everyday in an attempt to do better than others. But this is physically detrimental, and people like these would, in my opinion, fare better in other schools since health is also a factor.

Over-stressing yourself reduces your lifespan. When you think in those terms, try to enjoy your work more and worry less about where you get in. It's not about "I will disappoint myself if I don't get in school Z". It's more about: "If I have a tendency to be very anxious about things, this will hurt me whether or not I get into school Z and this is the main issue I need to fix".

Relaxation techniques are essential in solving this problem. If you find yourself over stressed, I wouldn't recommend doing more math. Instead, read a light book, maybe some fiction, or something on psychology or religion, or perhaps some good sports, or music, or some meditation. Something that makes you appreciate life regardless of what school you get in. Ideally, your favorite subject should do that for you, but because your favorite subject and the university admissions are so closely intertwined, you want to relax on something that isn't remotely related to admissions.

BiP
 
  • #5


I understand that grades and academic performance are important factors in college admissions, but they are not the only factors considered. Admissions committees also take into account personal circumstances, extracurricular activities, and personal essays when evaluating applicants.

In your case, it is clear that you have faced difficult family situations that have affected your grades. It is important to communicate this to admissions committees through your personal essay or in any additional information you can provide. This will help them understand the context of your grades and the challenges you have faced.

Additionally, your passion for mathematics and your dedication to creating a blog and participating in a science fair show your commitment to your academic interests. This is something that admissions committees will definitely take into account when evaluating your application.

Ultimately, it is impossible to predict your chances of getting into MIT or any other specific school. It is a highly competitive process and every applicant is unique. However, I would encourage you to continue pursuing your academic interests and showcase your passion and determination in your application. That, combined with your strong academic performance in key subjects, will make you a strong candidate for any top university.
 

Related to Chances of Getting Into MIT w/Sophomore Year Grades

1. What are the minimum GPA requirements for getting into MIT as a sophomore?

The minimum GPA requirement for admission into MIT as a sophomore is a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. However, meeting this requirement does not guarantee admission as MIT also considers other factors such as test scores, extracurricular activities, and essays.

2. How heavily does MIT weigh sophomore year grades in the admissions process?

MIT considers all four years of high school when evaluating applicants, but sophomore year grades are given less weight compared to junior and senior year grades. This is because it is understood that students are still adjusting to the high school curriculum in their sophomore year.

3. Is it possible to get into MIT with a lower GPA but exceptional extracurricular activities?

While a high GPA is important, MIT also values well-rounded students with a diverse range of interests and talents. If you have a lower GPA but have been heavily involved in extracurricular activities, made significant contributions, and can showcase your passion and leadership skills, you may still have a chance of getting into MIT.

4. Are there any specific classes or subjects that MIT looks for in a sophomore's transcript?

While MIT values strong performance in all subjects, they tend to place more emphasis on math and science courses. This is because MIT is a STEM-focused institution, and they want to see that applicants have a strong foundation in these subjects.

5. Can I still apply to MIT as a sophomore if I have not taken the SAT or ACT?

Yes, you can still apply to MIT as a sophomore if you have not taken the SAT or ACT. MIT offers an alternative test called the "MIT Flex Admissions Test," which students can take in place of the SAT or ACT. This test is designed to assess a student's critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, which are important qualities for success at MIT.

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