Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

abyss
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:22 pm

Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby abyss » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:53 pm

I have applied in quantum information/condensed matter in some top schools and also have a few back-ups. My profile is not exactly stellar, but good. (One PRA as 2nd author + more research experience in QI, 2 papers in drafting stage, 990 in PGRE and 9.7/10 GPA)

Today, while I was seeing my SOP for Caltech once again, I discovered in horror to find that I had mentioned that I want to apply to MIT in the first paragraph! :shock:
The later part of the SOP is not the same as the one i have written for MIT, though, and the second-to-last paragraph is customized for a Caltech application. Thankfully, in the last paragraph, I have correctly mentioned Caltech and IQIM, and mentioned the names of professors at Caltech with whom I would like to work during graduate school.

Caltech is my top priority, and while I know my chances aren't all that great, I have been feeling this stupid action of mine will surely be like an auto-reject. It definitely shows my carelessness, I think, but I hope it's not that bad! I pulled in an all-nighter readying the final versions of my drafts, and the first paragraph got mixed up. :( It's surely quite late to do anything now, I can only hope the effect isn't too much. What do you guys think of this goof-up?

(All the same, I think I might have given the admissions committee a hearty laugh.. I must really get better at organization.)

shep23
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 pm

Re: Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby shep23 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:11 pm

abyss wrote:My profile is not exactly stellar, but good. (One PRA as 2nd author + more research experience in QI, 2 papers in drafting stage, 990 in PGRE and 9.7/10 GPA)



Screw you. If that profile is "not exactly stellar", then the rest of us have no chance. Don't act like a 990, a published paper, and 2 more papers in prep isn't good, because you just sound like a douche.

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RonaldoMcDonaldo
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:20 am

Re: Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby RonaldoMcDonaldo » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:39 pm

abyss wrote:I have applied in quantum information/condensed matter in some top schools and also have a few back-ups. My profile is not exactly stellar, but good. (One PRA as 2nd author + more research experience in QI, 2 papers in drafting stage, 990 in PGRE and 9.7/10 GPA)

Today, while I was seeing my SOP for Caltech once again, I discovered in horror to find that I had mentioned that I want to apply to MIT in the first paragraph! :shock:
The later part of the SOP is not the same as the one i have written for MIT, though, and the second-to-last paragraph is customized for a Caltech application. Thankfully, in the last paragraph, I have correctly mentioned Caltech and IQIM, and mentioned the names of professors at Caltech with whom I would like to work during graduate school.

Caltech is my top priority, and while I know my chances aren't all that great, I have been feeling this stupid action of mine will surely be like an auto-reject. It definitely shows my carelessness, I think, but I hope it's not that bad! I pulled in an all-nighter readying the final versions of my drafts, and the first paragraph got mixed up. :( It's surely quite late to do anything now, I can only hope the effect isn't too much. What do you guys think of this goof-up?

(All the same, I think I might have given the admissions committee a hearty laugh.. I must really get better at organization.)


You definitely won't get in. Better luck next life.

abyss
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:22 pm

Re: Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby abyss » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:34 pm

Maybe I must add that I'm an international student, so the PGRE score needs to be high.. Also, I didn't really mention the other two papers in the drafting stage in my application, because work on them is being started only now.
Also, shep23, I don't think any international student, even if his profile looks good, can count on getting into a competitive place like Caltech. My tone was more of caution and I apologize if that didn't sound good to you. It's results season, and my whole peer group and I are feeling insecure!

RonaldoMcDonaldo wrote:You definitely won't get in. Better luck next life.

:cry:

tamaghna
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:27 pm

Re: Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby tamaghna » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:04 am

Well, adcomm members are people, and they have made similar mistakes on their official stuff at some point, too. But the fact remains that it hurts a school's rankings to make an offer that is not accepted, and this sort of thing does give the impression that you would prefer to go to MIT than Caltech if you had a choice. In a touch-and-go situation, I hate to say, this would be more than enough to tilt a decision. If they were going to take/reject you anyway based on your other credentials, then it wouldn't matter. But then, at the highest ranked places, nobody's application is a sure shot.

Last year, when I went back and looked at the applications where I felt I was in with a fighting chance, was waitlisted till the end and finally didn't get in, they all had one thing in common: I'd overlooked something in my application, mostly making similar mistakes as yours. That being said, if you have had contact with a professor who you think will push to get you in, let him/her know that this happened. If you can convince him/her that you will join if you get the offer, that *might* reverse the damage. But you should only do this if Caltech *is* really your top priority because it would be very embarrassing if you finally went to MIT instead, especially for the professor.

All said and done, you might feel eventually as I do now that there isn't really that much of a difference between MIT and Caltech in terms of how successful you would be as a graduate student. At the highest level, the fluctuations or uncertainty between different factors that make one school/advisor better than the other greatly overpowers the difference between them. I wouldn't be too worried. With your "good" profile, I'm sure you'll get equally "good" offers. :)

@shep23: congratulations on displaying the much-needed level of maturity and discretion that will help you breeze through grad school. It might surprise you that people can be honestly mistaken about their profiles, but I myself first came to know from this forum that my profile was actually good enough to apply to top 20 schools. It's just that our undergraduate institution regularly churns out a few people who set the bar for "stellar" very high.

shep23
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 pm

Re: Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby shep23 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:27 am

tamaghna wrote:@shep23: congratulations on displaying the much-needed level of maturity and discretion that will help you breeze through grad school. It might surprise you that people can be honestly mistaken about their profiles, but I myself first came to know from this forum that my profile was actually good enough to apply to top 20 schools. It's just that our undergraduate institution regularly churns out a few people who set the bar for "stellar" very high.



It needs to be pointed out. A lot of people will come here looking for advice and guidance, and it is no help to anyone (in fact it is probably harmful) to see such an obviously good profile (I mean, you literally got a perfect score on the PGRE, how can you not think your profile is good?) being degraded. Not only does he/she now realize how good their profile is, but also others who see this thread in the future won't freak out because their numbers wane in comparison to "not exactly stellar" numbers.

tamaghna
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:27 pm

Re: Moment of "Oops!" while reading SOP now

Postby tamaghna » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:55 am

shep23 wrote:
tamaghna wrote:@shep23: congratulations on displaying the much-needed level of maturity and discretion that will help you breeze through grad school. It might surprise you that people can be honestly mistaken about their profiles, but I myself first came to know from this forum that my profile was actually good enough to apply to top 20 schools. It's just that our undergraduate institution regularly churns out a few people who set the bar for "stellar" very high.



It needs to be pointed out. A lot of people will come here looking for advice and guidance, and it is no help to anyone (in fact it is probably harmful) to see such an obviously good profile (I mean, you literally got a perfect score on the PGRE, how can you not think your profile is good?) being degraded. Not only does he/she now realize how good their profile is, but also others who see this thread in the future won't freak out because their numbers wane in comparison to "not exactly stellar" numbers.


It does. But, gently would do fine, right? :)




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