11 months ago
Admissions Advice

Would getting a B- in freshman year in science going to affect my chances in ivies if I apply for STEM?

I got a B- in midterm science( freshman year). Will it affect my chances at ivies if I apply for STEM fields there?

@JustRipoolLuck711 months ago

What College do you go to?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@DatSomeone11 months ago

I'm in highschool-

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
11 months ago

Context is key to answering your question.

A (B-) will be on your transcript when you apply but what else you include on your HS transcript is up to you.

Therefore it will only negatively impact you if you do not improve your grades and keep getting B-s or other grades less than an A.

However, if you look at this as an opportunity to create a noticeable upward slope in your STEM grades, meaning that from Freshman Year (a) to Senior Year (b) your grades keep getting better and better and you take harder and harder STEM classes, that will be +plus in your academic column if that makes sense to you. Colleges like to see an upward sloping trajectory of grades and course rigor.

Therefore for Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years, do your best in STEM classes and take harder and harder ones. Since most IVY league schools expect their admits to having 4 years of English, Maths, Science and 3 years of Language and History make sure you take, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calc, and either AP Calculus AB or BC. For STEM make sure you take AP Bio, AP Chem, AP Physics, and AP Environmental Science (or something similar). It's not just your grades that have to improve buy your course rigor.

To show your competency in STEM, when you take the SAT/ACT aim for 1500 for the SAT and 34 for the ACT, if you fall short of it at 1450 and 33, that's still okay but aim higher. Also, try to get 4s and 5s on your AP exams in STEM or at least 750 on SAT Subject 2 tests in STEM subjects.

When picking your STEM ECs, pick clubs that allow you to have some leadership opportunities like President of the robotics club or Science Bowl, etc. Also, try to get an internship Junior year summer at a STEM company that has something to do with what you are interested in. If you want to study CS, then work with a company that has strong success in that space like Google or Microsoft.

Also, find some activities that show evidence of your personal intellectual curiosity or vitality in STEM that is outside of school or clubs. Maybe create an APP that does something unique for a space you are interested in helping. Or do some private research on a subject and try to get your results published or presented or awarded.

My answers are particularly based on your desire to attend an IVY league school in STEM. Keep in mind that while IVY league school are great, they are not the only avenues of getting a STEM degree.

Here is a list of other colleges you should consider besides IVYs:



-Harvey Mudd

-Georgia Tech

-Virginia Tech

-Stanford University

-Carnegie Mellon University


-UC Berkeley

-Rice University

-Univ. of Illinois

-Univ. of Michigan



-Williams College



-UT Austin

-Case Western

-Colorado School of Mines

-Stevens Institute of Technology

-Cooper Union

-Johns Hopkins

-Reed College

Good luck with your HS career.

11 months ago

The simple answer: yes, it can definitely impact it. However, don’t be discouraged because your extracurriculars may offset that.

Considering that ivies are very competitive about choosing the right students for their curricula, I would say it may not be good. However, ivies, just like most schools, are often more HOLISTIC in their approach to applications. This meaning, for example, that someone with perfect grades and a 1550+ SAT score may not get into an ivy while someone with a couple B’s and a 1450+ can. Thus, the question does not underlie solely on academics but also extracurriculars pertaining to your intentions: did you participate in STEM-like club activities? did you take internships? did you take SAT subject tests? did you create something in your destined field (a club, a research project, organized a local event, etc.)?

Ivies aren’t just looking for someone good, or even great, for their fields, they’re looking for someone extraordinary and who is willing to break bounds, who is willing to explore new knowledge, who is willing to become a world leader. If you have exemplified this potential through extracurriculars (it’s sorta tough to decipher this by looking at a letter grade), then I believe your freshman B may be okay.

Hope this puts into deeper perspective of what ivies are looking for : )


11 months ago

Yes, it can affect your chances if the grade doesn't get better. If you had a (B-) then got a (C) for the rest of the year than definitely might affect your chances.


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