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Waterloo Software Engineering

A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
I'm going into my senior year now, which means applying for university. My first choice is Waterloo Software Engineering, but after reading some of the other forums on engineering at Waterloo where 90+ averages are rejected, I'm still scared I won't get in (I had made an earlier thread when I was in grade 11 and contemplating).

Current Pre-requisite Marks:

Physics 4U: 90%
Chemistry 4U: 98%
Advanced Functions: 95%

Still have to take: English 4U & Calculus and Vectors
English 3U: 85%

Programming Experience:

Computer Science 3U (95%) - Java (basic knowledge)
C/C++ (beginner, currently learning on my own)

Extra Curriculars & Other:

Treasurer of philanthropic group
Habitat for Humanity Re-store volunteer, and information facilitator
Link Crew Leader
Editor of Events of Yearbook
Model U.N
Written several math contests


What are my chances?
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12 replies
 
A photo of arviny arviny
I would recommend getting a job with leadership skills or a volunteer position that needs leadership. Also keep going with the math contests and programming contests offered by loo, they help a little. The school you come from matters as well, some schools have inflated marks and others have the opposite, 95 in calc at school A isn't the same as a 95 from school B.

For programming experience, they want in depth knowledge. Not just brief knowledge in a variety of programs, but solid experience. Any development experience is of course good as well.

As for 90%+ getting rejected, I had 86% top6 and got an offer. Even if you get rejected from SE they will give you an alternative to CS co-op, which is still pretty damn good!

Hope you take my advice, you'll probably get in around 2nd wave or the last wave!
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
My volunteer job at Habitat for Humanity may count as leadership because I don't only work at the re-store, I also act as a youth representative to encourage new youth volunteers, and help lead the new volunteers orientation at bi-weekly meetings. And being a part of Link Crew I guess is leadership, as I'm mentoring grade nine students.

I'm almost finished my Computer Science course, and after I do so, I'll go farther in depth with Java and maybe start building a portfolio hopefully.

I know some schools have inflated marks, and I'm not sure about my school. I know my Chemistry mark wasn't awarded by my school because it was an I.B course, so it's international. I'll still keep that in mind though.

I was wondering if you'd be willing to share what programming experience you had when applying to SE and what extra curriculars you were a part of? Thanks for your advice! I want to get an early acceptance, but really, just an acceptance would be terrific.
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A photo of ktel ktel
IB is a great! No inflation there because it's standardized testing to the max. Although you would have a grade out of 7, not a percentage grade, so your percentage grade could still be inflated.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
Yeah that's true! I'm just estimating my percentage grade, because I was told a 7 is a high 90, but I'm not sure exactly how it converts or how universities look at it. But I did receive a 7 in IB Chemistry which I'm happy about :) Hopefully I can manage that 7 for Math too.
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A photo of ktel ktel
When I took IB we received a percentage grade for the Alberta curriculum and then our final marks for the IB curriculum. So we basically had two marks to choose from, which was great.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
Yeah I think we get the same, but the IB exam results came out after report cards, so I was given a predicted grade of "7 minus" which was a 98% on my report card. Since IB doesn't have things like "7 minus" or "7 plus", I'm not sure, what exactly my grade is, but I'll probably find out after school starts again.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Based on what I've seen in the past from people I know who've gotten into SE, you should be fine.

Keep in mind though, the high school you come from DOES matter to Waterloo Engineering. I think that's where you get a lot of those 90 averages who didn't get in.
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A photo of ninetyfour ninetyfour
What kind of high schools are they looking for? I don't go to a private school or anything, but I do go to an I.B school, which is recognized (I think).
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@ninetyfour wrote
What kind of high schools are they looking for? I don't go to a private school or anything, but I do go to an I.B school, which is recognized (I think).



Basically, they keep track of the high school their students came from. If the students from that high school did well in UW, future applicants from that school will have their averages adjusted favourably.

If you're from IB, I wouldn't worry too much about it though.
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Yeah I know a bunch of graduates from in and out of the IB program that have gotten accepted at UW and from what I know are doing fairly well. Hopefully, this will work in my favour :)
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Can anyone tell me the cutoff for this year ?
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A photo of aimango aimango
Dude you're fine.. your marks are slightly better than my HS ones, you have decent ECs.

My school has no IB, no AP, nothing. We have a lot of people that apply to Waterloo because we're close to the university, but we're not a "top" school. We participate in Dwite and do well sometimes but thats about it.

And honestly, don't work too too hard on that portfolio. I wasn't into personal projects in high school (still not that interested lol) because my CS teacher focused on CS contests.
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