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How to get into harvard


I will be a freshman in high school and most people tell me it is too early to prepare for college. But that is not stopping me from going to my dream college. I want tips on how to get into Harvard.


3 answers

answered on[edited]
Accepted answer

There is no magic way to get into Harvard. There’s no magic way to get into ANY university of that caliber, especially Ivys. Top colleges want to see you to be a genuine person rather than a robot who tries to become a “perfect” student or follow some formula of specific clubs, test scores, meticulously worded essays, etc to try to scheme their way into a top college. Here is the basic breakdown. Generally Ivys want to see people who are 1) academically gifted 2) unique 3) award winners 4) passionate about SOMETHING and 5) driven/motivated. Being smart is not enough.


* take as many AP classes as possible, and keep a rigor of almost all advanced (IB H, AP, Honors, Pre-AP) classes

* take special electives geared towards what you want to study in college (if you don’t know what that is, that’s okay!!)

* aim for TOP TOP grades of mostly As and A+s (or whatever the top grades at your school are) and be an active class participator


* freshman year - join/test out multiple clubs, do online research, ask around, etc to figure out what you want to study in college

* Sophomore year and future - become a leader/officer (President, VP, etc) in clubs, win awards, participate in internships, etc

* YOUR ECS SHOULD BE 1) related to your major, 2) showcase leadership and officer position/talent 3) something you participate in for multiple years

* if you can try to start a club Freshman or Sophomore year and grow it to 15+ members but make it something legit (i.e. not Manga/Anime club)

*** don’t do volunteering just for the hell of it - it should be a concerted and concentrated effort towards an organization or cause that you actually care about. volunteering awards that are given for the # of hours are somewhat meaningless and doing random volunteering to win an award is a waste of time since it’s not unique and so many high school students do this every year. it shows nothing about who you are as a person


* take 2-3 SAT Subject tests. Aim to score 750+ or ideally 770-780+ on all of them. If you are going into science/STEM take Math and Science.

* aim for scores of either 1550+ SAT or 34+ ACT. The higher your score, the better. A perfect score will NOT, and I repeat, WILL NOT guarantee you an acceptance since 1/3 of people applying to Ivy-caliber schools have perfect scores. Don’t waste your four years on SAT prep to try to get a 1600 when your time could be better used

* don’t start SAT/ACT prep now cause it will only add extra stress. You also dont know the necessary math (through Algebra II) or English (through Pre-AP or 10H english) to do well on the SAT/ACT. Wait a little while when you learn more. Focus now on clubs, teacher relationships, and grades

* take the SAT/ACT either the end of 10th grade or the beginning of/summer before 11th grade


* get letters of recommendations from your JUNIOR OR SENIOR year teachers. If your freshman teachers will be your teachers in the future or they are club advisor who you will have a relationship w in the future, then start to become friendly with and helpful to them so that you can ask them for a LOR in the future.

Hope this is helpful.

thank you for the answer. You said to start a club but make it legit. I am personally very into speedcubing. This is when you solve different types of rubix cubes as fast as you can. I average about 14-13 seconds. And my high school does not have a cubing club. So would that be a legit club to make?
you’re welcome, i hope this helps bust some of the myths around ivys and college. one more thing - DO NOT be a “well rounded” person. this is someone who’s a member of multiple, unrelated, different clubs, does sports and music, volunteers, etc and does all of the stereotypical “good” student activities. this means not joining every honor society or club that you get into (honor societies don’t really count for much anymore) or doing volunteering just cause your friends are...
its best to make a focused efforts around a couple of activities that you become really high ranking in and are in for multiple years. as for speedcubing (i know what it is!) that would be a competing team rather than a club. i think it’s pretty cool and unique so go for it. you will need to find an advisor and also get signatures of multiple students (at my school it’s 100 but the number varies) who would be willing to join if the club got approved. you also need to find/organize competitions.
answered on

It's definitely not too early.

Do well academically. Get a top GPA, take the hardest classes available, and get a top SAT/ACT score (99th percentile +). All of the stuff that you would expect. This is just to show that you are academically capable. It doesn't matter that much.

If you are into STEM, look into taking some national tests. They are really hard, but if you do well, you will be a superstar. There are several in all sorts of categories, math: AIME, Physics: USAPhO, Computer Science: USACO...

It is best to start studying as soon as you can for these.

Be sure to spend your summer doing academic things. Try to get internships at a local college or something.

Do activities that are related to your passion. If you like writing, enter writing competitions, try to publish your work. If you like music, look into local competitions, try to join some important orchestra or something. Don't just do random stuff.

A lot of universities offer free summer programs that you can apply for. I know MIT has a presitigious math program.

If you do all I'd imagine that you'd have a pretty good shot at getting into Harvard. (still only like 30 percent unless you become famous or something crazy like that).

answered on

make sure you truly want to go to harvard for its education and not just its prestige. there are also other schools offering fantastic educations, so don't feel like that is your only option:) good luck!