A2 Basic US 144 Folder Collection
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Today I'm gonna show you how to get into Harvard University.
This will be the most detailed and honest guide on YouTube.
This video will be helpful even if you're not applying
to Harvard because the same rules apply to all universities.
(marker pen scribbling)
Good morning guys.
Today we are here at Whistler, Canada.
I didn't attend Harvard University.
I only attended Hafu University,
but today I got my friend who graduated from Harvard
to tell you about how to get into Harvard.
- My name is Andy, I graduated from Harvard in 2013,
and now I'm a product manager at Amazon.
- Alright, starting with the application process.
So, how many schools did you apply to?
- Six schools.
- And what did you get into?
- I got into Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton,
and Georgia Tech.
- And what made you choose Harvard?
- Everyone in my family's been an engineer.
So when it came to me,
I wanted to do something radically different,
and Harvard was the school
that had a very good social science
as well as humanities offerings.
So I chose to study economics at Harvard.
- Nice.
So talking about the application,
what were your major extracurriculars
that got you into Harvard?
- So I did a number of academic extracurriculars
outside of school, competitively.
So I did Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl, Science Olympiad,
Social Studies Bowl, even Geography Bowl,
and Computer Science Club which I founded.
- That's awesome.
- But outside of that, I think I made myself more unique
because I had a variety of other passions as well.
I was engaged with community service.
I also wrote poetry,
and I would go to poetry events,
or submit into contests,
and I did sports.
- What sport did you do?
- Ping pong and track.
- Yo, ping pong? - Yeah.
- Were you good?
- Yeah, I played competitively.
- Oh wow, nice.
So, how were your grades?
- My grades were solid.
- Did you have like high 90s in your...
- I had mostly solid A's,
but every high school was different.
- Okay. - So for some schools,
a low A isn't the same as in other schools.
- Okay.
Did you do AP classes?
- I did.
- How many?
- I took 20 AP classes.
- 20?
That's a lot.
- In four years.
- That's a lot.
When did you start?
- Freshman year.
- So, I just wanna jump in here real quick
because Andy is very like...
I don't think he will make you realize how hard
he had to work to take 20 AP classes
because normally,
people take around five to seven AP classes.
He tripled that.
An AP class is similar to a university class,
so he was taking university classes
ever since the first year of high school.
Just wanna make you realize and give you some context
for what's going on.
So did you plan to go to Harvard
when you entered high school?
- No, when I entered high school,
I really thought I would have this run of the mill,
average high school experience.
I would have a lot of fun.
I would study.
There would be some parties.
I would make a lot of friends.
There'd be a little bit of drama, too,
just like you see in movies,
and I was a fan of American Pie.
- Did you have the drama you wanted?
- No, fortunately or unfortunately,
high school was drama-free for me.
- Okay, okay.
- For the most part.
- So when you entered, you didn't have the intention,
when did you start thinking, oh I could go to Ivy Leagues,
or I could go to Harvard?
- I used to think really not very far ahead.
I thought one step at a time,
so I didn't really think about college
until it was close to senior year,
and I remember that summer after junior year,
I had just taken my SAT, I got a good score,
and that was literally the first time I thought
about applying to some of the top selected colleges.
- Okay.
Do you mind revealing your score?
- I got a perfect score.
- Oh wow, nice.
Do you have any study tips for the SAT?
- Yeah, I find a lot of students
don't really know how to study for the SAT
because the SAT is actually a test
based on your functional skills,
so it's not really based on knowledge like the ACT is.
I think you should just take tests, take practice tests
and learn the skills either reading passages or math,
and do practice over and over again
until you don't miss the same questions a second time.
You'll get better and better scores each time.
- Okay.
- Find out why you missed the questions
from each practice that you do on the SAT.
Figure out what's the link between what you did wrong
and the right answer and change some kind of habit
in your head so that you can do something different
the next time you encounter a similar type of problem.
- And that's how you really
learn things in general, right?
- Yeah. - Yeah.
Just get feedback on what you did wrong
and then do it the right way next time.
- Yeah. - Right.
So how many practice tests did you do roughly?
- I did a lot, but in a very short time.
So I probably did 20 or so practice tests.
I took my SAT in the summer time
so I had a week off from school,
and I just did a lot of practice tests that week.
- You did 20 in one week?
And then you just went and took the test?
- Yep.
- That's all you practiced.
- I took it twice.
The first time I also practiced a bit
leading up to the test.
- Okay, wow.
That's amazing.
- But I think the most important part thing is,
if you are already doing solidly in school in your classes,
then you're gonna have the basic reading, writing,
and math skills.
So build that foundation,
and that happens throughout your four years at school.
- How did you approach the essay portion
of your application?
- The essay's a huge space,
and I thought the only way,
and the best way to use it,
was to write about one of my primary involvements.
So that's why I chose ping pong.
I went to nationals, I didn't really do well there,
but every year I would get first or second in state.
- Okay.
That's really good.
- The other reason was it's unique.
I think there are lots of sports essays
like I won the tennis championships,
or I got second track and how I improved,
but ping pong was kind of a unique sport,
so I thought it spoke to my uniqueness and strength.
- I saw a bunch of videos on YouTube
of how they got into Harvard,
and then they always talk about a spike.
In your application you need to have something
that stands out.
Is that true?
- I think every candidate should have strengths
like highlights on your profile.
So for me that was,
some of the competitive activities I did,
as well as ping pong.
I was also strong academically,
but I was actually more of the well-rounded type,
like grades, sports, extracurriculars,
even artistic activities that I did and community service.
So I think even if you're well-rounded,
Harvard would be looking for hooks
or interesting things about you, highlights.
- Right, okay.
- And then there are always the students
who went to the Olympics in high school.
Those are the real spikes.
- Right, okay.
So you're saying basically,
unless you are really, really strong,
you should be well-rounded in your grades,
and have an interesting hook.
- Yeah. - Okay.
That's a massive application tip for you guys.
- The day when you finally got your
Harvard acceptance letter,
what did you feel?
- I felt really good.
I was looking forward to it,
and actually I was at the gym that day, after school,
and my brother logged on to my computer,
and he knew it was coming out that day,
and my brother at the time, he was eight years old,
so he went into my computer,
and then read the acceptance letter and told my dad,
and when I came home,
they were really happy,
and I was pretty happy too.
- What did they say to you?
Do you remember?
- It was just all smiles,
and they were like congratulations, we couldn't believe it.
- Could you believe it?
- To be honest, I thought I had a decent chance
because I had known some people who had gotten in
and they helped me and I understood the process.
- Awesome.
Yeah, as you were explaining that story,
I felt the excitement, you know?
Asian parents, you go home,
Harvard, Dad!
So all I can do is give my mom this hoodie
even though I didn't get into Harvard.
It's like a consolation prize.
- There's always graduate school.
- Alright guys, we had to move.
Now, we're cozy, blanketed, at the bottom of a ski hill.
So, what do you wanna talk about next?
- A lot of high school students ask,
"What should I do in high school?"
I think, if you're already asking that question,
then it's great,
but also a lot of students might think
there's some tried or true method,
and there are things that colleges generally like,
like strong academics, strong extracurriculars,
but there is no formula, per se.
There's so many factors that vary case by case.
So I think what's really invariant
that, would apply to anyone is two things:
One, to figure out what you're passionate in.
If you follow your passions, then it's much easier
to become good at something,
and colleges are able to see that.
Step two is be unique, be yourself.
Look at what other people are doing around you,
and look actually at what they are not doing
so that you can figure out your niche.
Sleep, not articulate.
Usually this isn't an issue.
When you combine following your passions
with being able to find your own niche,
that's different from your friends and peers around you,
then those are really the two most important factors,
and that allow you to really excel,
and truly be good at something.
- That's amazing.
Thank you.
I think that was a very detailed explanation
of the mindset you need
because the thing by thing,
like what you do exactly doesn't really matter
as much as the mindset you put into it, right?
- Yeah, if you want to be in the business world one day,
then you might just call this entrepreneurial mindset.
If you're more interested in humanities,
and one day you wanna be a writer,
then you might call this writing your own story.
- Yeah, 'cause I don't think Harvard cares that much
about the particular thing,
but rather being passionate about it
and being good at it,
and showing that it's affecting your life in some way.
- Exactly.
I had a friend who was a break dancer
competitively in high school.
- And he's in Harvard with you?
- Yep.
- Okay, awesome.
Thank you.
That was a great explanation.
(cups clanking)
- Cheers.
- What is your last piece of parting advice
for high school students?
- Have fun.
- Really?
That's it? - Have fun.
Work hard, have fun.
- What is your one piece of advice
for college students who are graduating?
- Take some risks early on.
You've got nothing to lose
because you're fresh out of college.
- That's true.
- And thank you-- - Great to be here.
- For coming on this ski trip with me.
Now we're gonna hit the slopes.
So I wish you guys good luck on your application process,
and if you're not in high school,
I hope you go take some risks,
and be bold.
- Subscribe to Hafu.
- Alright.
Thank you.
See you next time.
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How I Got Into Harvard University - DETAILED AND HONEST GUIDE!

144 Folder Collection
Mingxuan Chu published on August 19, 2019
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