• Nora Sun

Tags: MIT

Institution: MIT University

Study: Major in biology and chemistry

High School Experience

My high school experience overall was pretty good. I enjoyed a lot of the classes I took and I was fortunate enough to explore a lot of my interests inside and outside of school. My high school experience however tended to be a bit stressful and could get overwhelming at times.

Course choices


My school offered predominately IB classes and I did the IB diploma. My scores haven’t been released yet.


104.46, weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1520

ACT: 35

SAT II Math 2: 790

SAT II Chemistry: 790


I am a nationally ranked tennis player and I have been playing for 11 years and will be playing in college. I played for my school’s varsity team from 7th to 9th grade. I was highly involved in my school’s science research program all 4 years. I did student government and was class president from 10th - 12th grade. I was on the varsity math team all 4 years. I was also a member of the national honor society (1 year), math honor society (2 years), science honor society (2 years), spanish honor society (2 years), latin honor society (3 years).


I asked my physics teacher who was also my science research teacher. We have a great relationship; she’s now retired and we still communicate from time to time. I was very active in her class, always asking questions. She has also guided me closely with all my science fair preparation. She also was a graduate from MIT, which was my top school. My second recommendation was my AP world history teacher who was also the class advisor. I have known her since 10th grade and she has seen me as a student in the classroom and as my role as class president. My third recommendation was my guidance counselor. We have a fairly good relationship but not a very strong one.


I did not have a specific narrative/theme. I tried to hit upon my three biggest extracurriculars/experiences (tennis, science research, class presidency) in every application.


I think tennis gave me a greater edge over other applicants as I was recruited by many schools. I was academically strong but nothing special, but I made my interests clear and really pursued them. All my achievements (many on the national-level) are concentrated in tennis and science research. It was clear that I wanted to pursue a future in science and already had a strong background. However, I also offered other assets such as tennis and leadership.


Find interests you genuinely enjoy and pursue them. You never know how far you will get and how much you will achieve. In terms of application molding, I have heard it’s better to be more focused in terms of your extracurriculars than to be scattered. There is a belief that many schools look for students that have a peak (an area that they are especially strong in) and not those that dabble in many different areas. I would also say to try something new and take a risk. My greatest experiences in high school were the ones that took me out of my comfort zone, whether it be a research project that I thought was daunting or a position that I didn’t think I would get. For me, they turned out to be pivotal points in my high school experience that changed it for the better.




I choose this university because it had everything I was looking for in a school: from the location to the abundance of research opportunities. MIT offers the high level of academics I was looking for and the opportunity for me to continue my tennis career. I chose the school because I was in awe by the students and staff and all they value and have achieved.


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