• Nora Sun

Tags: MIT

Institution: MIT

Study: Major in math and computer science

High School Experience

My high school experience was fairly typical I'd say. I went to school with a lot of my friends from middle school, and one friend in particular helped me maintain my academics well because we were both pretty competitive, so we signed up for hard classes and were classmates in many classes. We complained about the apathetic people in the faculty, but I did prefer my high school to others in the area. It has a block schedule, so we have 4 periods in a day and switch classes after every semester, which I think prepared me well for college.


I liked math classes most of all and took 7 classes during high school, 3 at my community college for upper level math. I also enjoyed computer science a lot, but I live in a relatively rural farming town, so I only had the opportunity to take 5 classes, 3 online at my cc. I took AP calc AB my freshman year, calc bc, stats and computer science principles my sophomore year, united states history and biology my junior year, and spanish, physics, and chemistry this year. I got a 5 on all of them except for a 4 on biology, and I didn't take the physics test because the college I'm attending doesn't accept it for credit.


4.68 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1540

ACT: 35

SAT Math 2: 800

SAT physics: 750

SAT Math Level 2: 800

SAT Molecular Biology: 730


My extracurricular interests revolved mostly around my academic interests. I entered a few writing competitions (scholastic art and writing my senior year), including a few science writing contests, entered a few art contests (notably junior duck stamp/state fish art contest), and did Biology Olympiad. I was captain of our school’s Biology Olympiad club, tutored for some local nonprofit and for profit organizations in a variety of subjects, and worked for three years at the nonprofit which fundraisers for my school. I currently am lead coordinator for a volunteer organization (for 2 years) which offers local high schoolers the opportunity to inspire younger elementary/middle school aged students in STEM. Lastly, I have done cancer research in a lab at a local university for the past year.


I was very close with the teachers that wrote my recommendations because I had them in many classes during high school. I had mainly STEM teachers write them and 1 history teacher.


I didn't have an overarching theme, I just focused on answering the prompts meaningfully. Many questions had me writing about my extracurriculars and plans at college.


I think I was a strong applicant because I had a relatively small number of activities I did for multiple years instead of a ton for 1 year each. I also think I made myself stand out because I was able to take calculus freshman year and move on to college math because I took high school math classes in middle school.


My advice would be to find something you're interested in, and make yourself stand out in it so not many applicants can list the same things you do on your app. Thousands of students I'm sure got better SAT and ACT scores than me, but I did many other things to make myself a competitive applicant.


First generation


#MIT #First_generation

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