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How I got into Columbia (Interview 12)


SAT: 1560 (800 Math, 760 Reading)

ACT: 36 (36 English, 36 Math, 36 Reading, 36 Science)

GPA: 3.98

Rank in Class: 3

Size of Class: 263

Ap's Taken: Chemistry, Physics Mechanics, Physics Electricity and Magnetism, AB Calculus, BC Calculus, American History, Statistics, Computer Science, English Language, English Literature, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics.


  • I played tennis for all four years in high school and started playing varsity in my junior and senior years

  • I was the captain on my schools science bowl teams and qualified for nationals with my team on many occasions

  • I was the president of my schools STEM club during my Junior and Senior years.

Personal Story

"Getting into Columbia was pretty awesome. I thought that I had a decent chance so I applied and decided to roll the dice and see what happened. If I'm being honest, I was more excited to finish high school than to go to Colombia. It was so great to know that all of this was worth it and that all my hard work actually led to something valuable."

Useful Advice

"Don't worry about the SAT and being the Valedictorian. I made this mistake because we're taught that the SAT and grades of a student is everything. But, I realize now that it's not. Since most applicants are almost exactly the same the difference between a 3.9 and a 4.0 is imperceptible, but the difference in how hard you work for that difference is huge.

You'd need to pretty much double your studying time from maybe 5 hours a day to 10 just to get those extra 2, 3, 4, 5 points that will push you to a 4.0 instead of a 3. and all of that is just time wasted on admissions officers. I'd recommend that people use that time to learn a new skill, like becoming fluent in a new language or playing a sport so that they have more to officer admissions officers than 10 extra points on the SAT."

Columbia Undergraduate, Class of 2023

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