Harvard is the most competitive and prestigious university in the world. But did you know that it’s also one of the easiest to get into?
In fact, if you follow our advice below, we can almost guarantee your admission! And all without having to spend a fortune on tutors or test prep courses.
Before we get into the proven, let’s see the benefits of studying at Harvard:
- World-Class Education and Research Facilities- At Harvard, students learn from world-renowned professors, researchers, and visiting scholars who are leaders in their fields.
- Lifetime Networking Opportunities – Harvard students meet world leaders, influential thinkers, and influential people. The alumni network spans the globe, with over 400,000 members around the world. Graduates get internships at top companies like JP Morgan Chase or McKinsey, etc…
- Excellent Reputation- Graduates are Cited as the best in their fields like Nobel Prizes or the Leaders of World Countries. They are also listed as “The most influential people in the world.”
- Financial aid – Harvard is generous with financial aid, there are many scholarships available, and the average student receives approximately $36k a year in grant money.
So what are these 4 key steps for getting admitted to Harvard? Let’s find out!
Before that, keep in mind that we can provide you help with writing essays, hence saving you all the hassle of college essays!
Meet Harvard’s Academic Qualification Requirements
First of all, you’ll need to check that your high school grades and test scores are strong enough for getting into a university as prestigious as Harvard. The exact minimum requirements will vary year by year, but in general, it’s safe to assume that you’ll need at least a combined SAT score (critical reasoning and math) of 2000 or a combined ACT score of 28 to be considered for admission.
How to meet the academic requirements
To get a 2000 combined SAT score, you should aim for 1450 in both the Math section and the Critical Reasoning section (which is basically an advanced English class). If you’re aiming for 28 on ACTs, be sure to get 29 or above on the English portion alone.
Meeting the above requirements need some intense studying. There are various ways of studying recommended to ensure good grades, and here are our top 12 tips for effective studying.
1) Set goals for yourself
What are the requirements to get into Harvard? Set specific and measurable goals for yourself. Break your larger goal down into smaller attainable goals, create deadlines, and then write them down! Even better is if you post these goals somewhere visible so that you can see them every day. This will keep your focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and will keep you motivated!
2) Build a study schedule that works for you
This doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler, the better. Just write down how much time you’ll spend studying per day or week and stick with it no matter what. This way, at least some progress is guaranteed.
3) Get the most out of your time
Some students like to study in groups while others prefer to study alone. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but what’s important is that you’re efficient with your time and make sure you’ve covered all the material needed for a good grade before moving on. Organize your reading assignments, take notes and keep track of your progress!
4) Don’t forget to study for the SAT
This is important because there are a lot of similarities between the SAT and ACT exams. It’s also easier to study for one than the other (the SAT has been around longer). So if you can score high on one, you’ll likely be able to do it again for the other.
5) Take a full-length practice SAT or ACT
Get used to the format of the test so that you feel comfortable when taking the real thing. The more familiar you are with the test, the less time you’ll have to read the instructions, and you can instead focus your attention on answering questions.
6) Get support when necessary
There can be times where taking a prep course, or getting some tutoring, or hiring a coach will help motivate you to study hard and take the time to make sure you’ve done everything in your power to get into Harvard.
7) Be familiar with the test format options
There are different versions of the SAT and ACT, so be sure you’re studying with the format that’s actually going to be given on exam day. Otherwise, your prep won’t end up being as effective. Also, pay attention to how many sections are on each exam—one version has only an English and Math section, while another has Science and Writing as well.
8) Ask teachers or career coaches to help you prepare
Sometimes it helps to have someone who knows you well give a fresh perspective on your strengths and weaknesses. Your guidance counselor may be able to point out some areas that are lacking in your preparation and give you advice on how to improve.
9) Find the best way for you to memorize information
Memorizing information will help you learn it in a way that allows it to be recalled at a later time. Some people prefer flashcards. Others like sayings or simple acronyms. Whatever works for you, make sure that you’re consistent so that you can recall this information under pressure.
10) Practice for the exam
Once you’ve gone through all your prep course material, practice answering questions on your own. Practice under timed conditions to get used to how much time is left and have a single goal of finishing the section in time.
11) Focus on the real purpose of taking a standardized test
Many students get caught up in the fact that they need to do well on one, and when they don’t perform as expected, they give up. Remember that these tests are not about getting into Harvard—they’re designed to measure how you think under pressure and if you can correctly answer basic academic questions.
12) Don’t give up!
Studying for the SAT or ACT is a huge commitment, and there can be times where it seems like a lot of work with not much payoff. But don’t lose sight of your dream – you want to get into Harvard! And if you don’t give up now, you will eventually be rewarded with admission into your dream school!
You may also be interested in Top Ivy League Schools
Write Exceptional Essays
This is the most important part of your application. Essays help admissions officers learn who you are and what makes you special. This is your chance to show them that you’re a worthy candidate over the thousands of other students applying to Harvard.
Step 1: Think about your experiences and why they’ve shaped who you are today. What did you learn? Why was this experience important for you? What have you taken away from it?
Step 2: Come up with an original idea. For example, write about why you have a particular passion for the subject or activity that you’re writing about. Or maybe discuss what your goals are and why they’re important to you. You can also choose to tell a story about yourself and how one of your hobbies or activities has helped you learn about who you are.
Suitable essay format that you should use
Your essay needs to be well formatted with a clear outline or structure that unrolls as you read.
Here is the recommended structure that you should use for your essay:
Introduction – Describe what you are writing about. Try to capture the reader’s attention by telling a short story or giving an original and engaging description of what you will talk about.
Body paragraphs: The main bulk of the essay explains why your experience was important to you in some way or what you learned from it. Try to use at least three body paragraphs, and each one should be a different experience or point that you’re making. In each of these body paragraphs, describe the experience in detail and what you learned from it. Keep your language simple so that the admissions officers get a good idea of who you are as a person.
Conclusion: Sum up your essay by tying everything together. In the end, you need to make it clear why this experience was important and how it has affected your life. Try to do this with a short phrase or sentence that stands out.
Tips to help you ensure your essay is the best
1) Read all the essays of students who got into Harvard. Read these carefully so that you can identify what makes them successful. Ask yourself: Why did they include this detail? What point is the author trying to make? Why does this essay stand out among others like it?
2)Make sure that there’s one main idea per paragraph. If you find yourself writing about multiple points in a single paragraph, you’re probably trying to do too much. Break this down into separate paragraphs so that it’s easier to read and understand.
3) Make sure the structure of your essay flows nicely from one point to another. For example, if you have 3 body paragraphs, there should be an appropriate amount of transition words to make them flow together. Some examples are: first, second, third; next, likewise, also, etc.
4) Challenge yourself with a more complex vocabulary. This is important because your vocabulary shows how well you can express yourself and communicate what’s happening inside your head. It will also show the admissions officers that you understand the language well and can confidently express your ideas. However, you should use this only when necessary because it can sound awkward if you do it too much.
5) Be careful of grammar, punctuation, and word choices. You need to make sure that everything makes sense in context and that there are no mistakes. Carefully read over each sentence to make sure that there are no run-on sentences or fragmented sentences. Most importantly, ensure that you don’t end your essay with a comma splice or sentence fragments.
6) If English is not your first language, it’s good to ask a native speaker to look over your essay and correct any grammar mistakes or typos for you before you submit it. This will show the admissions officers that you’re making an effort to improve yourself.
7) Make sure that your essay is interesting. Avoid using an outline if possible, and instead, write in paragraph format with proper transitions from one body paragraph to another. If you want to use supporting details, just make sure they’re brief and important enough to include in the first place because admissions officers tend not to read many details unless it’s really interesting or unique.
8) Be organized and logical when researching your essay. A lot of students tend to go off on tangents or even talk about irrelevant things, and the result is a disorganized essay that isn’t clear or interesting. Instead, keep your focus on just one thing and be sure to have all supporting details reflect this main idea.
9)Include a proper title. It’s nice to start with a phrase at the beginning, such as: “How to Get into Harvard” or something like that. If you have more than one idea, then make sure they’re all connected in some way so that it can be seen in the title of your essay.
10)If possible, read your essay aloud (this is especially good if English is not your first language). You might find yourself stumbling on certain words and phrases because they sound odd to you after reading them even though they’re correct. The content of your essay must be easy to read and understand.
What not to do during this essay process?
1) Don’t just write what the prompt tells you to. The most important thing is for your essay to be about a meaningful, personal experience — so don’t make it just about the event and its description! Also, try to avoid talking about any failures or bad experiences. The admissions officers don’t want to read a negative account of who you are; instead, they want to learn more about your positive side and how you overcame challenges in the past.
2) Don’t worry too much about length. Admissions officers realize that not everyone has the experience that is suitable to write an 800-word essay about. If you’re running out of things to write, then that’s fine! Just try to pack as much information as you can into the space that you have so that it is well written and engaging
3) Don’t forget to proofread your essay before submitting it. Make sure there are no grammar mistakes or spelling errors. You can use the “spell-check tool” on your computer, or you can ask someone to proofread it for you.
4) Don’t submit the same essay to multiple colleges. Harvard admissions officers and thousands of other schools will have access to each applicant’s application so they can easily tell if you’ve sent a copy of the same essay to other schools. This will significantly decrease your chances of getting accepted.
5) Don’t send an essay that has already been published online or in print elsewhere. Harvard admission officers will know that you’ve already sent this essay to other schools, and it won’t look original or fresh. Also, if a significant amount of time has passed since it was published online or in print, then they will know that it’s not a new essay.
6) Don’t submit an essay that is written in a language other than English. Harvard admissions officers are looking for students who have strong writing skills, so they want to see your ability to write well in the language they’re supposed to be evaluating you on. If you don’t know how to improve your English writing abilities, joining a local English club may be good.
Finally, make sure you check out all the requirements for submitting your Harvard application essays.
Don’t ever hesitate to ask us a question or provide feedback! We are here to help our clients succeed on their admissions journey! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media so that you can stay up-to-date with important news!
Engage in Active Community Projects/Services
The admissions committee at Harvard wants to see that you care about the world around you and have made an effort to better it in some way. Even if your community is small or far away, participating in a service activity shows that you have initiative and are willing to put yourself out there. If you haven’t taken any extracurriculars seriously in the past, you should seriously consider joining some community service programs.
Examples of community service:
- Volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter – serving meals, setting up tables/chairs, and cleaning tables. This does not necessarily mean that you have to volunteer for a religious organization. If there’s something that you care about helping out with, then you should check it out! You don’t need to worry about not being religious: They just want to see that you care and are willing to put in the effort.
- Participating on a sports team or joining clubs – if you’ve been playing soccer for your town’s youth league, then you should mention it! It doesn’t necessarily have to be an official club (like debate) that you can add to your resume.
- Volunteering for a summer program or an exchange program – even if you’re not studying abroad, it’s still worth including this experience in your application because it shows that you are willing to put yourself out there and try new things! For example, I met someone who went on a camp during high school in a different city. Even though he wasn’t studying at a college, he could incorporate this experience into his application, which got him accepted!
- Cleaning the environment- Joining such programs includes picking up trash from your local lake/park, cleaning public parks with a group of people, or volunteering for clean water drives.
- Helping out at an animal shelter – such as walking dogs, helping in vet clinics, or dog shows.
How to pick the best community service programs to join:
If you can’t find any opportunities, then start your own! Find a group of people that would like to help out and organize a meeting. The key is to ensure that you are doing something with the community service project: Not just participating in it yourself.
Consider the following tips while picking a community program to join:
- Pick an activity that you are interested in. If you don’t like dogs, then working at a dog shelter might get old quickly for you.
- Check out how much they charge to participate in the program (if anything). If it’s too expensive, then you may want to reconsider joining their program. If paying the fee would mean that your family wouldn’t be able to afford it, then you should politely decline.
- Check out the program’s website to check for reviews. If there are bad ones, then think about joining a different community service program or creating your own. You don’t want a bad review on your record!
- Make sure that the organization is legitimate and has been around for more than five years by looking up their business license.
- Check out the organization’s tax records to ensure that they are registered as a nonprofit and correctly filed their taxes. A nonprofit is easier to deal with than an individual who may be trying to scam students into paying for college applications.
- Check out the organization’s guidelines for community service activities. Some organizations want you to be hands-on, while others like to see that you are interested in helping out (even if it doesn’t involve physical work). Ensure that you read up on their guidelines and don’t sign up with an organization without knowing what they expect from their volunteers.
Participate in Extracurricular Activities:
Being part of extracurricular activity in high school can look good on your application, but it also comes with its own challenges. If you plan to join a sport in college and be involved with a community service program, then make sure that you are making time for both! You don’t want to be overbooked and not end up doing well in high school because you’re still trying to manage your time.
Importance of including extracurricular activities:
- Extracurricular activities can show colleges that you are well-rounded. It shows them that you’re more than just a student who goes to class and reads books all day (although obviously, you should do this too!) – it also shows them that you can make time for other things in your life.
- Meeting new people, learning how to manage your time between schoolwork and extracurricular activities, and contributing to the community are important skills that you can learn from participating in various extracurricular activities.
Examples of extracurricular activities to join include:
Sports – sports are a great way to build your leadership skills. You learn how to work as part of a team while still managing your time and energy on the field.
Involvement in clubs- join any club that you think might interest you or is close to your interests. Examples include Model UN, Science Olympiad, and an academic club.
Volunteering – if you want to do it regularly, try joining a group that does regular volunteer work. You can even start your own community service program with the help of your friends!
Performing arts – take part in public speaking (debate team), singing, playing an instrument, dancing, and theatre acts.
Teaching- often, elementary schools will need a sub for a teacher that has been out sick. You can constantly offer to fill in (as long as you are certified.)
Visual arts- participate in art activities like drawing, painting, sculpting, and photography.
Engaging in student government- join a student government or work for the school newspaper to learn how to manage your time and be efficient when doing tasks.
Political involvement – get involved in politics! Get to know people from other schools by joining groups that work with other universities. This way, you can have meetings at different places and see more of your community!
Starting your own community service program – in communities that don’t have many programs in place, or if you want to start something within your school, consider starting your own. You’ll learn how to manage time and speak with different people who may be interested in the program.
How to pick the perfect extracurricular activity to join:
To pick the perfect extracurricular activity, you first have to think about your interests and goals. After that, you can decide which kind of activities would best help you reach your goals.
After you come up with a list of activities that seem like they would be fun to join, then consider the following things so that you can pick the perfect extracurricular activity. You want to choose something where:
- You will enjoy yourself – it’s very unlikely that you’ll continue doing an activity if you don’t have any interest in it.
- It will look good on your application – some activities can look better than others on applications, but most of the time, you want to pick an activity where it’s clear that you enjoy being a part of the group.
- How much work is involved – some groups are very easygoing and don’t require much commitment from their members, while others are very structured and demand a lot of time from their members.
- You can get involved with community service- People often go to college to enter the workforce and start paying off loans. But there is another way that you can use your education! You could become a teacher, social worker, counselor, or even a police officer. You need to be involved in community service activities if you plan on going into a career where you directly work with the public.
- Don’t overbook yourself- it’s important to ensure that your high school schedule doesn’t get too hectic. It is possible to have too many extracurricular activities and not enough time for yourself and the activities that you care about.
- Are there athletic requirements? – This isn’t usually a problem for regular people, but you may want to consider whether or not it is a good idea to join an activity with requirements like practicing the sport during school hours. In some instances, this can be a problem if your schedule doesn’t allow it.
Harvard Application Process and the Acceptance Rate:
Applying to Harvard can be pretty stressful. It is one of the most challenging schools to get into because there are so many smart students applying worldwide.
The process starts by filling out the Common App online, and then you’re required to send them your transcript, personal statement about yourself, a teacher recommendation was written by your math or science teacher, a list of your extracurricular activities, and your test scores.
Other online application portals include the University College Application and the Coalition Application.
You may also be interested in getting into Stanford!
Acceptance chance and rates for Harvard:
The acceptance rate for Harvard is 5.3% in 2017, which means that only 8 students out of 175 are accepted into the school each year. This number has been climbing steadily over the years because more people have become interested in visiting and applying to college in America.
The chance of getting accepted into Harvard from an American high school is higher than for an international student because international students need to be more qualified. However, it is easier for international students to get accepted into top schools like Harvard than other colleges.
There are many factors that play into whether or not you’ll be accepted into Harvard. These factors include GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities.
It doesn’t matter if you go to a really prestigious school or have a high GPA. All that matters is how much effort you put into your education. Some people who went to Harvard have average GPAs, and it was their extracurricular activities that got them accepted into such a prestigious university.
The bottom line is this: you can get into Harvard if you put your mind to it because many factors play into whether or not you will be admitted. If your grades aren’t perfect, you can focus on your extracurricular activities; if your extracurricular activities aren’t perfect, you can improve your grades.
Remember to keep working hard, and you will get where you want to be. Also, our Scholarship Essay Writing Service can help you get that scholarship into Harvard or any other University!