• Nora Sun

Tags: Emory

Institution: Emory University

Study: Major in biology on a pre-med track

High School Experience

Overall, I liked my high school experience. I think there was a good balance of laughter and tears haha. I focused both on academics and out of school activities. I liked my experience in terms of my social circle, my academics, and my opportunities. I particularly didn’t enjoy my school’s counseling system and I wish I had some kind of mentor to guide me through it.

Course choices

Throughout high school I had various academic interests. I was interested in government/politics, math, and technology. They didn’t really guide my course choices since it’s a small school with no options, except for math. I took AP stats and precalculus senior year.


Academically, I was most interested in my science classes (despite them being my lowest grades). I took 14 AP classes in high school. This was mostly because in my freshman year I went to a private school where AP classes were the norm (I took 3 freshman year) and they didn’t give me an extremely hard time so I took more even after switching to my public school. Although I got good grades on them, I was very bad at studying for the AP exams so my scores were always mostly 3s and some 4s. I think it was one of my weakest points academically and I think I might regret this in college since I could’ve gotten free credits but it is what it is.


4.25 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1420

SAT Math 1: 780

SAT Math 2: 690

SAT Literature: 720

SAT Chemistry: 540



To be honest, I think my recommendation letters were another weak part of my application. I didn’t get to read any of them but I do know that I didn’t have an extremely close connection with the teacher that wrote them for me and I also asked them for one really late so they didn’t really get to take their time with it. If I could go back, I would pick a teacher or two every year to get really close with both educationally and personally in order to strengthen my recommendation letters.


My personal essay topic was to write about a concept I would find so engaging it would make me lose track of all time so I wrote about the first time I watched a surgery because I want to pursue surgery in the future so I wanted to make sure that was a big part of my application. For my supplements, I wrote one about my time in Greece helping Turkish refugees and how it changed my perspective on the innate nature of humans. For another supplement, I wanted to show some personality and I wanted to make it humorous so I wrote about how if I could witness a historical event, I would want to see the creation of potato chips.


In my application, I think my strengths were my ACT score, the rigor of my classes, my diverse range of extracurriculars and the leadership positions I held in them.


  • Make sure to start studying for the SAT/ACT early on, it’s never “too early” and before you begin, take both a practice SAT and ACT and see which one you’re more comfortable with. Afterwards, focus on a single one and try to get a high score as soon as possible to focus on your schoolwork.

  • Don’t be afraid to take hard classes. The more you take, the more you’ll get used to them and the easier they’ll become.

  • Do as many extracurriculars as you can but don’t focus on one thing. Ideally, you would want to have one sport/instrument that you can get really good at (the more the better of course), another volunteer experience in your community (city, religious community etc) that is focused on helping others, and an experience volunteering/shadowing/interning somewhere that is related to the career you want to pursue in the future to show that you are already invested in it. The most important thing for all three of these is try to get a leadership position!! That will stick out immensely not only in your college application but also in your resume in the future.




Although I wanted to go out of state, my family and I decided it would be best if I stay in state to save money and hopefully go out of state for medical school. I also knew Emory has an amazing medical school so I would have a lot of opportunities as a pre-med and because it’s the best school in the state, I just applied to ED because I knew it was where I wanted to go.


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