Can You Answer Real Questions From an Ivy League Admissions Form?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you want to be a doctor or lawyer in small-town Nebraska? Or do you want to stroll into a sleek skyscraper in Manhattan where you bill your ultra-wealthy clients? If you chose the latter option, you’re going to need an Ivy League education, or a huge inheritance, or both. Scaling the heights of the Ivy League educational system all starts with the admissions process. In this elite quiz, do you think you have what it takes to make it through the admissions process for America’s most prestigious schools?

Let’s start with the basics. There’s no “Harvard” or “Yale” exam that’s been standardized for applicants. Every school’s admissions process and application is a bit different, and the eight Ivy League schools change things up from time to time, too. So everything may change depending on whether you’re applying to Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, Columbia, Yale or Harvard.

You already know that these schools will probe every bit of your academic past (and then some) to figure out what kind of student (and human being) you are. Do you know what sort of standardized test information you’ll have to share with admissions officers? And do you have any idea how to write an actual essay without copy and pasting from Google?

You can smell that Ivy-scented diploma already. Take this Ivy League admissions quiz now!

Which of the following is NOT a test that you must take in order to attend an Ivy League school?

You'll take the ASVAB if you want to go into the military. For a prestigious college, though, you'll have to take either the SAT, the ACT, or both.


As part of the admissions process, you'll have to indicate what?

It's a simple but standard question that all Ivy League schools will ask. Which term would you like to begin your studies? And do you have fast-food experience you can fall back on after you're rejected?


The ACT is an example of what?

The ACT (and SAT) are two famous (and infamous) standardized tests. All universities, including Ivy League schools, rely on these test scores to find the best applicants.


What sort of information will you have to include regarding your standardized test scores?

You can't just offer your overall SAT or ACT score. You'll have to break down the numbers by section, that way the admissions folks will really understand that you're terrible at math.


As part of the admissions process, you'll have to have one of your teachers do what?

You can't rely on your own scores and opinions to help you sail through the admissions process. You'll have to have former teachers indicate that you are somehow special, rather than just "special." Otherwise, you don't stand a chance.


As part of the application, one of your former instructors will be asked to evaluate which part of you?

Ivy League admissions officers don't just care about your SAT score. They want to know that you're a good person -- as such, they'll ask former teachers if you're a person with integrity or whether you're the kind of person who makes the crime pages.


True or false, will you have to provide your class rank as part of the application?

Uh, you better believe it. Ivy League schools definitely want the top students in a high school class … C students can go ahead and skip the application process altogether because they have no hope.


As part of the application, you'll have to ask which person to endorse your candidacy?

Your school counselor knows you inside and out. OK, maybe she knows your name. Anyway, you'll need a school counselor to offer his or her enthusiastic endorsement for your application, and if you slip them a fifty, your odds of a positive letter dramatically increase.


About what percentage of applicants make it into Harvard?

Don't look at it as a 95% rejection rate. Think positive! You can be that in 5% of applicants who are accepted by Harvard. And if not, there's always Cornell.


What is your "GPA"?

GPA. It is an obsession with Ivy League types. It is your grade point average, and without it, you are nothing. Nothing at all.


You'll have to offer your cumulative GPA on the application. What was your GPA, hopefully?

You don't necessarily NEED to a have a 4.0 GPA in order to apply to a Ivy League school. The 4.0 GPA is just necessary if you want to actually be accepted.


As part of the application, you'll have to indicate the percentage of your high school classmates who are attending what?

Yale doesn't care if you graduated at the top of your class if your classmates are all mouth breathers. So you'll have to note how many of them are moving on to college as opposed to careers in check bouncing and extortion.


What do SAT Subject scores portray?

The SAT is a generalized exam. The Subject tests, though, are a more in-depth view into your abilities with particular topics. Other colleges might let you skip this part, but Ivy League schools will not.


How many SAT Subject tests will you have to take to apply for an Ivy League school?

Some colleges will let you slide by with only one SAT Subject score. Not Ivy League schools. You'll need at least two SAT Subject scores … and they'll obviously have to be very high.


How definite do you consider your academic plans to be?

Tell me you answered "very certain" for this one. Because if you're not certain about whether you want to go to an Ivy League school, why are you bothering to apply in the first place?


Which of the following is NOT an SAT Subject test?

Oh, there's no art history in the list of SAT Subject tests. But there are other history subjects, as well as math, sciences, literature, and other topics.


During the admissions process, you'll be required to answer what sort of question?

It's a rite of passage for all Ivy League applicants -- the essay questions. These freeform questions offer you the chance to demonstrate your brilliance, your haughtiness, or both.


How did you learn about Princeton?

Let's be honest, your best bet to attend these schools is if you come from a line of folks who've also been at the top of the education system. And if your parents didn't attend an Ivy League college, just lie about it. We're kidding about that last part.


How certain are your athletic or extracurricular interests?

Ivy League schools love athletes. They tend to pick very smart athletes, so be sure to read books with smart-sounding titles to your hamstrings and triceps at bedtime.


What will Harvard do within two weeks of receiving your application?

Once you send off your application, you await word of your near-certain rejection with bated breath. In the meantime, some schools are nice enough to send confirmations so that you at least know they received your desperate and futile application.


What's the mean score for the SAT Subject Test in Literature?

We can't emphasize it enough -- the SAT Subject tests may not make your application, but they can break it. For the Literature test, for example, the mean score is about 600, meaning you should shoot higher.


Which of the following extracurricular activities most interest you?

OK, so they won't pose this question in the exact same manner. But the intent is the same -- do you prefer intellectual pursuits or first-person shooters?


What's the Common Application for Undergraduate Admissions?

No, there is no standard "test" or exam questions for every Ivy League college. It doesn't work that way. The Common Application for Undergraduate Admissions, however, is a standardized application that helps streamline the admissions for hundreds of colleges, including Ivy League schools.


If your parents make less than $65,000 per year, how much will you have to pay for your tuition?

Ivy League schools offter incredible deals for students from low-income families. If your parents make less than $65,000 per year, you'll pay nothing -- for a prestigious degree.


How many instructor recommendations will you need for your application?

Did you throw spitballs at your teachers during class? You're under their thumbs now. You'll need (at least) two glowing recommendations from your teachers in order to impress admissions officers.


True or false, do all colleges use the same admissions questions every year?

False. Although many colleges (even prestigious ones) recycle the same questions every year, you should be prepared for new ones. In other words, probably don't plan to plagiarize your older brother's answers.


What's one way to ensure you'll be rejected by an Ivy League school?

You might sail through the SAT 10 times but still wind up rejected. Why? Because you wrote a boring essay that put admissions counselors to sleep.


What sort of athletic scholarship can you expect from an Ivy League school?

Ivy League schools don’t offer athletic scholarships at all. But seriously, how many TDs did you score last year? 36? Welcome to Yale!


What should you do if you're rejected from an Ivy League school?

Sure, Ivy League schools offer your resume a certain sparkle. But all employers know there are a lot of other amazing universities in America, and you'll eventually wind up at one of them.


Have you previously applied for Harvard?

Yes, you have applied for Harvard. And because you'll almost certainly be rejected, you can try again, or bribe your local congressperson to put in a good word for you.


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