Are A-/B+'s in honors classes better that A/A+'s in regular

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: Are A-/B+'s in honors classes better that A/A+'s in regular
By Ilabcurious1423 (Ilabcurious1423) on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 07:44 pm: Edit

Are A-/B+'s in honors classes better that A/A+'s in regular classes?

What do you recommend my GPA should be in highschool to get into one of the top schools?

What are the best ECs?

right now I am....
taking violin
taking piano

I plan to...
tennis team
helping out at the boy's and girls club
school newspaper
have a job
honors society

If I have a A- or B+ average the first semester freshman year, have I messed up? I am in all of the honors classes....

I feel like their is nothing very unique about me. What can I do? I read someone's stats in the ivey league section (they got in) and they were REALLY good. They described how that had a mentally challenged brother. They were also on the football team. Both of these made him stand out.

Let me know what you ALL think!!
Let me know what you all think!

By Ilabcurious1423 (Ilabcurious1423) on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

Sorry for the double "let me know what you all think!"

They*-2nd to last paragragh 1st word

By Binarystar (Binarystar) on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 08:08 pm: Edit

I don't even know if your honors classes show up as "honors" on your H.S transcript. And most schools will not give a damn about your freshmen GPA as long as you do well in the future, especially your junior year.

By Gabushida (Gabushida) on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 09:10 pm: Edit

At my school, honors is on the transcript. And an A- in Honors is equivalent to an A in regular at my school (GPA wise, we really do considerably more work than regular in most of them). I got mostly B+'s in freshman year, because I am rather lazy, and to be honest, I was bored. Ive noticed that as the classes get more demanding and harder (ex- able to take AP's), I grew more interested and my grades went up, and thats really important. Yes, having straight A/A+'s since freshman year is definitely great (and will get you that great RANK - only reason I wish I had not been SO lazy, I'm near the bottom of hte first decile), but having an upward trend is really good too. I went from mostly B+'s freshman year, A-'s sophomore (like, one A and one A+), to having an A as my lowest grade in junior year. And I was accepted ED to Cornell this year.

So go take those honors classes. Its important to challenge yourself and have a rigorous schedule (even if it isnt always great for your GPA)

By Ilabcurious1423 (Ilabcurious1423) on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 11:19 pm: Edit

thanks! I will!

Everyone else is free to share what it was like for them in hs!

By Eadad (Eadad) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 03:15 am: Edit

First understand that your ECs look like every Asian kid who apllies to the Ivies....are you Asian?

My reason for stating this is that there are a large number of posts on numerous threads from very unhappy Asian kids with amazing stats but deferrals or rejections from Harvard, Yale,Princeton,etc....

Take the most challenging courses your school offers and do as well as you can. A few Bs won't kill you if you do this and you also can demonstrate that you have a life.....

A friend is an alumni interviewer for Princeton...he told me that he was seeing kids with perfect grades,perfect SATs laundry lists of ECs and NO PASSION!....they were all like robots or stepford singly minded and focused only on the process that they forgot how to have fun and be need a sense of humor as well.....

Your grades and scores serve only to pre-qualify get one foot in the door....the real factors for admission to the top ivies is your essays, recommendations and interview....the things that humanize you and enable you to separate yourself from the rest of the applicant pool who will ALL have the grades,scores and ecs......

You are a freshman.....have some fun too....improv troupe? drama/theater? another instrument maybe like guitar....something not so programmed....

If you are an Asian there is another thread that is under the heading "are Asian males screwed?" it..there are some interesting observations...also read the postings for yale decisions and see some of the profiles for students who were rejected or deferred.

The good news is that being a freshman.... you can alter your course a bit if you need to....for the seniors in those posts,it's too late to do so.

By the way, my son was admitted to Yale EA. He had a few B's while taking the most challenging courses his school offers. He had great recs, a few deeply involved and commited ECs, great SATS and APs (but most people who applied did also)very strong essays that showed his sense of humor in one and gave great insight as to what makes him tick in the other and he felt his interview went well.

Good Luck!!!! and remember have some fun too!

By Aoe2guy (Aoe2guy) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 07:51 am: Edit

It depends on the school. Personally, i feel that an "honors student" worthy of being in an honors class should be able to earn an A - minimum. By depending on your school, i mean how hard the teacher's tests are, how do other people do in the class, etc. But generally, i think an honors A+ is better than a regents A+/A-.

By Ilabcurious1423 (Ilabcurious1423) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Yea, that is why I am going on this sight as a freshman lol. I want to find out what I can do before it is to late.

I am a white female.

I go to a hard college prep school.

My mom knows an alumni Princeton addmissions officer also, so I know what you mean. Thankyou so much for your help! What kind of school did your son go to? Where are you guys from? Do you know what it was about your son that REALLY made him stand out?

By Eadad (Eadad) on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 01:54 am: Edit


I think it is important to look at the big picture. There will always be far more applicants who, solely on the hard data or numbers (SATs,APs,GPAs) qualify for admission to the "elite" schools than there are places for them. This problem gets further compounded by the fact that they all apply to the same list of schools.

Admissions counselors must weed through thousands of applications reading two or more essays per application then they get a whole new batch to read because most apps get at least two reads. Do the math! If an admissions office that has 10 adcoms for example gets 15K apps, that could mean that each adcom is reading a minimum of 3000 and more like 6000 essays! After a while all the "overcoming adversity" essays begin to look the same.

Your essays, recommendations and interviews are the "soft data" that brings you to life. Your essays will need to show them what makes you tick,who you are and have them anxious to meet you and invite you "into the club." Don't be afraid to take a risk (albeit calulated)with your needs to stand out from the pack.

Our friend the Princeton alumni interviewer said and I paraphrase: "if i see one more 4.0/1600/800/800/800 piano playing tennis player with no personality or life outside school I am going to scream!"

Despite what you might have thought, it is about far more than numbers. The hard data is just the gatekeeper or ticket to the game because all the applicants are going to have strong numbers.

Too many people are trying too hard to package themselves and it shows. The adcoms can see through resume building....they want passion and commitment and above all else a sense of humor.
It is better that your ECs represent a few things you deeply care about and have a real passion for than a laundry list of things you think they are looking for.

What things really interest you? What do you REALLY enjoy? This is far more important than what you THINK they want to see. Besides,you'll have more fun that way and won't mind the time you invest.

If you are in a good prep school your counselors should be able to give you some direction as well although it is early in the process for them. I admire your drive but need balance and also to have some is really important to be a kid.....the real world will be on you far too soon.

We live in Texas. My son's ECs were all things he truly enjoys and is passionate about...not a long list but SERIOUS commitment. His courseload was/is the most challenging that his school offers (he goes to an all boys private school with 82 in his class). I am sure that his recommendations were strong because he is a person who truly loves to learn and has NEVER been just about grades....he has managed to do quite well but his real passion has always been about learning everything he can because he really is driven to know the why as well as the what,if you know what I mean.

You are off to a good start but remember, it is really important to differentiate yourself.....

Good Luck....

By Mulan (Mulan) on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

Eadad, your son sounds a lot like me.
i too got several Bs while trying to take a rigorous schedule.
i too got into yale ea. it'll be ok
and good luck with your music, Ilabcurious1423!

By Ilabcurious1423 (Ilabcurious1423) on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 09:30 pm: Edit

Thankyou! I know that I sound like I am trying to take everything that is said that they are "looking for". I must say that I have been taking tennis since second grade, violin since fourth, and piano since 3ed. I truly do love all of these things. I also love bball, but unfortuently my height does not serve me well:-(

Do colleges look at the weighted average more, or the regular one?

Is the honors society a bad thing to put on an application?

Thankyou for all of your advise! Honestly, alot of your input is truly helping me. The Boys and Girls Club is a charity that my mom is on the board for. If it ends up that I truly show an interest in helping out....will this help? Does my interrest in rockclimbing and waterskiing(although I have won no awards) help?

Sorry about all of the questions....I figure that it is best to get all of this stuff straight in the beginning:-) Congrats to your son!

Thankyou Mulan! Congrats on getting into Yale!
What were your ECs?

By Mulan (Mulan) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 12:55 am: Edit

viola, piano, cheerleading, youthsymphony, string quartets, a saturday music conservatory that i've attended for 7 years, i volunteer around town in hospital and such, teach piano to local kids, play piano for local church services, prez of math club for 3 years (which only really made a difference because under my "reign" club membership increased from 4 to 24)

but in the end, it's all a lotto. there are FAR more qualified people than there are spots, and nothing made me stick out more than the next person. and in the end, there'll be a good school that'll want you. trust me.

By Ilabcurious1423 (Ilabcurious1423) on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit


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