TJ Prep Blog

Dr. Tripathi shares his experience from 20 years of TJ Prep training to over 1000 students. Important aspects of TJ test Prep and admissions to TJHSST (TJ) are discussed.

TJ Prep: Must TJ Admissions be a crapshoot for Math Wiz Students?

As is well known, in recent years, the rules of admission to (TJHSST) TJ and their implementation have permitted many mathematically gifted students to be turned down (see: Is America's best high school soft in math?) . In our own experience of two decades of TJ Prep training, we have found that each year one or two students, despite doing impeccably well on both sections of the TJ test, were turned down. Unfortunately, in each case the TJ Admissions office rationalized the rejections by saying "the personal statement did not show a commitment to math and science", or "the student had a B+ in one math course."  Rationalizing the rejections of top students, who would have almost certainly excelled at TJ had they been accepted, in this manner, conveniently ignores the fact that dozens of students were accepted who performed  at a lower level on measures ostensibly used by TJ. The issue cannot be objectively analyzed until all application data are released in the public domain. The likelihood of such information release is remote.

So what should a "math wiz" interested in applying to TJ do or not do? In our view the most important thing you should do early on (6th and 7th grade) is to make sure that your grades in other subjects are respectable, your writing skills are well above average and you don't "give" any reason to admissions officials to reject you. Your love for math and science should radiate through any essays or personal statements you create. If you are a math wiz or the parent of one, we would love to hear your concerns and views on this matter.