Just What does it Take to Be AccePted

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Discus: Individual Schools: US News Top 25: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 2004 Archive: Just What does it Take to Be AccePted
By Mnm (Mnm) on Monday, December 29, 2003 - 03:28 am: Edit

can i have an overview on the least qualified student who gets accepted?
(sat, extracurricular, recommendation, essay, etc.)

And also, does being first generation help you at all? any hooks there at all? or nothing

By Pillsburychoboy (Pillsburychoboy) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 03:51 am: Edit

There is no "least qualified" student to get accepted because there really aren't any guaranteed criteria for acceptance. Here's what I'm guessing you SHOULD have to be competitive:

SAT I - 1400-1600 range, definitely.
SAT II - 700-800 range (MAYBE one high 600 if your SAT I's and GPA make up for it )
GPA - top 5% (something like 97% of ranked students who were accepted were in the top 5%). If your school only does the top decile, make sure you're in that top decile.
Extracurriculars - dedication in athletics, music, and community service should be good
Recommendations - obviously should be good (especially that secondary school report and science/math teacher rec)
Essay - should convey who you are. Your academics and extracurriculars should practically speak for themselves.

Being first generation is not really a hook. A hook should show how you transcend the stereotype(at least, the stereotypical student that applies to a school like MIT) - it's hard to get into any top school with just academics anymore. And 2 years of JV XCountry/Badminton and school band/orchestra just doesn't cut it. What sets you apart?

If you fall below those quantitative figures, you really gotta step up the essays and convey why you are special. What do you have to offer?

Just FYI, I was accepted EA. Here's some stats:

SAT I: 1520 (720 verbal, 800 math)
SAT II: 790 writing, 760 math iic, 690 chem
GPA: 4.36 weighted, top 4% at a competitive school + several courses at the local community college
Extracurriculars: All-league, all-section in athletics, 12 years of music with a number of awards and 9 seasons with a top youth orchestra, president of two major clubs, yearbook co-editor-in-chief.
Recommendations: Assumed to be very good.
Essays: I feel they were very good. Conveyed who I am and WHY I am different. Made no mention of any awards or experiences in my extracurriculars.

Hope this helps.

By Peacemakeriv (Peacemakeriv) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 06:47 am: Edit

nice, goood job and congrads!

By Amilee04 (Amilee04) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 04:29 pm: Edit

which youth orchestra, pillsburychoboy?

By Pillsburychoboy (Pillsburychoboy) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Amilee04 - California Youth Symphony

By Amilee04 (Amilee04) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Cool pillsburychoboy...what are you guys working on? I'm concertmaster in MYSO (milwaukee).
What instrument do you play?

By Pillsburychoboy (Pillsburychoboy) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Amilee04 - very cool. I play the violin (not quite concertmaster tho )

We have a pretty nice program this year:

Mussourgsky/Ravel - Pictures at an Exhibition
Ravel - La Valse
Mahler - Symphony No. 1
Rachmaninoff - Symphonic Dances
Berlioz - Roman Carnival
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 4
Barber - Violin Concerto
Adams - Short Ride in a Fast Machine
de Falla - Three Cornered Hat
Gershwin - Piano Concerto in F
Elgar - Cello Concerto

How bout you guys?

By Mrowry (Mrowry) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 11:40 pm: Edit

That is a frickin' AWESOME program!!! REALLY impressive! You are soooo lucky to play so much great music (minus the Berlioz, maybe, but I think I'm just biased... I hate him :-P). But how many concerts do you give? That much repertoire takes a looooottt of time... And where do you find all those soloists? Anyway, I must say, I played the Beethoven 4th (I'm a pianist), but those goons at Manhattan School of Music Prep where I study wouldn't let me enter the concerto competition because they said the score was too hard, even for the top orchestra (there are five). You guys must be crazy good.

By Amilee04 (Amilee04) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 12:15 am: Edit

That's some great stuff :)

For our upcoming concert:

Shostakovich Symphony no. 5 (fun little solos :))
Dvorak Carnival Overture
David Trombone Concerto
John Williams Music from The Patriot

for the one after that I know we are doing Tchaik's Romeo and Juliet, and another Symph, and some things w/ choir, but they haven't told us what yet
...and no idea for the May concert.

Last year we did The Planets, which was awesome. And the year before we did Symphony Fantastique..I think they got a little tired of the programmatic stuff, though.

Mrowry...our trombone soloist is in the MSO, but our soloist in May is the winner of a concerto competition...maybe the soloists w/ choboy's orchestra are winners?

By Pillsburychoboy (Pillsburychoboy) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 12:32 am: Edit

Mrowry - Yeah, it definitely is gonna be a great season. We give 6 regular season concerts plus a holiday concert and our tour concerts (we're going to Italy this summer!). Typically, about half our soloists are winners of concerto competitions and half are in-house. This year, we have an awesome tour pianist (playing the gershwin). To tell you the truth, the Beethoven 4 was not that hard - at least, not compared to the Brahms 2nd we played last year or the Rach 2 we played the year before! We're pretty good, but I'd say San Fran YO is better (they have a higher age limit and direct funding from the San Fran Symphony - we max out at age 18 and are privately funded).

Amilee04 - The Shostakovich is great (at least the first and last movements). We played his last symphony (I think it was his 15th) last year - I hated it, but after having to play it (and fall asleep playing it) a thousand times in rehearsal, I kinda like it now. The 5th is definitely (one of) his best.

Last year, we did pieces like Copland's El Salon Mexico, Bernstein's Fancy Free, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto. 1, Dvorak's Cello Concerto, and Respighi's Feste Romane (which is absolutely AWESOME!). The year before was a tour year as well as our 50th anniversary and we did Mahler's 5th (god that's awesome too), Rach's 3rd Symphony, Rach's 2nd Piano Concerto, Respighi's Pines of Rome (unbelievable), and Gershwin's American in Paris. Lots of the great stuff.

By Sunshine916 (Sunshine916) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 03:13 am: Edit


Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra :)

im finishing up my MIT app at this moment

By Mnm (Mnm) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 03:35 am: Edit

to the true philosopher...
music is sound that deserves not more credit than all other sounds.

why should 1 sound be preferred more than another sound. they are all sounds and they should be equal. Just like people. we always talk about equality right? then why is sound any different.

NO CREDIT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO PEOPLE who think they can make BETTER sounds than others. SOUND is SOUnd and ALL SOUND is CREATED EQUAL.

By Quakerboy2 (Quakerboy2) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 05:33 am: Edit

Begin random tangent:

Some sounds should be better because of the common ear that we hear them through. Our ears have been shaped by the voices we hear, and the most influential has been out mother's. In every culture, in every relationship, in every song, in every voice, there is one common thread. Every sound that we make creates overtones, and among these overtones, you can find common ones. When human speech is mapped, 13 overtones are found. These directly correspond to the notes on a piano. Every human is predisposed to like these notes. Furthermore, the most common are the intervals known as the 4th, the 5th, and the octave. These are the most pleasing to us.

We do not hear all sounds as equal. They are not created equal. That's why sounds are not like people.

End random tangent

By Amilee04 (Amilee04) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 11:01 am: Edit

Yeah, some people like quarter-tones. :)

By Mrowry (Mrowry) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 03:04 pm: Edit

All people are not equal... otherwise the world would be pretty damn boring.

Pillsbury - Wow, Italy. By the way, that's an interesting comment about the Beethoven 4th, because the top MSM orchestra here has done both the Rach 2nd piano concerto and the 2nd symphony (didn't know which you were talking about), and my sister (now a sophomore at New England Conservatory, doing violin performance) said they were pretty easy. And the conductor refused to allow the Beethoven 4th! He claimed it was a maturity thing, though... perhaps they could handle the music, technically, but it wouldn't be music music. :-P

Amilee - SHOSTAKOVICH!!! *orgasms*

This conversation makes me want to take up violin again.

By Pillsburychoboy (Pillsburychoboy) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 08:51 pm: Edit

I'm thinking about Beethoven's 4th piano concerto and I can't remember any orchestral portion that we had particular trouble with. The rhythm and counting are very straightforward and the fact that it's in g major - well, that's not even worth mentioning. Of course, I'm taking this from a first violin perspective. Still, I think we definitely did it justice. I kinda understand the maturity thing since Beethoven's music is very strict and has those glorious undertones, but I couldn't imagine how the orchestra at the New England Conservatory would not be ready for it. Very interesting.

PS - I was talking about the Rach 2nd piano concerto and the Brahms 2nd piano concerto, not the symphonies :)

By Pillsburychoboy (Pillsburychoboy) on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - 08:52 pm: Edit

I forgot to say I couldn't imagine how the orchestra(s) at MSM would not be ready for it either.

By Irishgoldenbird (Irishgoldenbird) on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

Don't despair on stats Mnm - my stats were quite low, and I was still accepted - I think it must have been my essay - I'm 1st gen too - but I've got 5 siblings, parents didn't graduate college, ect. so that may have affected something - I'll never know, but my SAT was 1360 - 710v, 650m - SAT IIs all below 700, but writing was 710 - everything else was really good - my ecs included speaking at a conference at MIT last summer where I gave a presentation on Cold Fusion - I figure thats what did it at any rate - good luck!!!!

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

I hear that in some years, 1390 is at the bottom of their average range.

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit

"NO CREDIT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO PEOPLE who think they can make BETTER sounds than others. SOUND is SOUnd and ALL SOUND is CREATED EQUAL."

So the sound of rabid chimpanzees mating would probably sound just as nice as Mozart, huh...

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