3 years ago
Admissions Advice

How can I improve my plan?

Basically, I have planned out my next 4 years of high school. As a freshman, I know this is typical, however, I really want to get started on my future career (I want to become a neurosurgeon). My next four years consist of 3 honors classes, 6 AP classes, and 3 college classes. I tried to fit the most advanced classes I could into my schedule. Extracurricular-wise, I'm joining my career and technical center, joining a medical/science program in the summer, starting a medical/biology club, trying to volunteer for Red Cross, and continuing to do at-home research for medicine. I'm already studying for the PSAT as well as I couldn't take it last year. Currently, I'm in the SALSA and will be going into the Amnesty club. The graduation requirement for my school is 24 credits, however, if my plan goes well then I'll graduate with 26.5. With all of that being said, is there any way I can improve my plan?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Hey @bhernandez25! I love that you are thinking ahead and planning out your future – great job!

In terms of academics, the number of honors, AP, and college classes you are taking sounds fine. However, when admissions officers are looking at your application, they will be comparing you to the other students at your school, so you should also think about how many honors and AP classes are offered at your school and if you are taking more than the average student at your school. Additionally, since you are interested in pursuing medicine, think about what sorts of AP and honors classes would best prepare you for the classes you are required to take in college on the pre-med path (like General Chemistry, Physics, Intro Biology, Calculus, etc).

Your extracurriculars sound great. The idea of starting a medical/biology club sounds great, but I encourage you to think about what aspect of medicine or biology you want to gear your club around. Choose something you are passionate about and develop it into a club – it’ll be much more enjoyable if you are spearheading a club that you are genuinely interested in. Also, you don’t necessarily have to do only medical-based extracurriculars. The whole basis of the medical profession is service, so as long as you are doing community-service based activities that you are passionate about, you should be set!

Hope that helps!

3 years ago[edited]

It's hard to know whether this is good enough because you don't mention anything about your school like how many APs are offered, what your HS is ranked in relationship to other high schools in your state or what kind of colleges you are thinking of applying to.

For example my public HS was ranked (Niche) #558 in the country and #2 in the State and we needed 25 credits to graduate. And we offered 22 APs. Our average SAT was 1250 and 27 for the ACT.

To get into say a Top IVY or Elite from my school, it's fair to say we needed about 9-12 APs, an unweighted GPA of 3.95-4.00 and a SAT of 1530-1600, and an ACT of 34-36. Most of my friends in that group had between 32 and 36 credits.

My recommendation to you as a 9th grader is that you can't plan your life out. Maybe you can plan 6 months of it but don't think for a minute that you can plan out 4 years and stick to that plan. Life changes, you change, your ability and talent and interests chance. Be flexible.

Take the most challenging courses offered to you and not set your sights on some arbitrary number like 2.5 credits above the minimum graduation requirements. Also, think about what kind of student these colleges are looking for on their campuses. They don't want someone who has planned out their lives. They want someone who takes risks, is not afraid to fail, and is willing to put themselves out on the line, everyday. Someone who is a natural born leader and has a resume to vouch for them.

These days colleges are uber competitive and 6 APs is not going to get you in to top school, you need closer to 10. Also, since there are no undergraduate medical degrees offered anywhere in the country, the best you can do is apply to a BS/MD program. I'm not going to go into that here but Yesh has a few posts about those. They are really hard to get into, some as low as 2% acceptance rates.

I don't see any leadership goals in your future plans. Leadership is incredibly important for admittance into a top school. You need to work on that I feel if you are going to have a chance at getting anywhere good. These days Medical schools are agnostic with regards to what you study as an undergraduate. Sure, Bio or Anatomy or Chemistry are popular majors but there are plenty of MD admits that did other things like Political Science, Engineering, CS, or Anthropology prior to applying to Medical school. You are not going to get preferential treatment for declaring you want to be doctor in HS, or even studying a STEM subject as an undergrad. Your future medical school acceptance will bear more on your MCATs, and your GPA in college.

Hope that helps

3 years ago

If you want to improve your plan, you should make sure you don't have a lot on your plate so you have time to study for the ACT and SAT as well as time for college applications. You should focus on classes that relate to your chosen pathway. You should make sure that you're not taking too much advanced courses in one year to ensure that you get a good grade in them. There's no point in taking advanced courses if you are just going to get bad grades in them. I think you're doing well in terms of extracurriculars. You should try to get a leadership position in one of the clubs you're already in. Other than that, I think you're doing well.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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