Rohan Nagpal (Harvey Mudd ´17) is looking forward to the honor code system at college

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What are you looking forward to the most about college?

I'm really looking forward to the honor-code system in place at Mudd which will allow me to take all my tests in my dorm room, have access to all the facilites on the lab round the clock and just develop this different sense of trust with the people around me, that seemed lacking to a large extent at school.

What did you find most challenging about the college app process?

I think the most challenging part about the college application process for me was writing the essays. After getting started though, I got done with the 'Why X?' questions pretty quickly but the personal essay was somewhat of an anchor on the application progress bar that wasn't lifted until I was three or four days away from the submission deadline. 

What was your SAT and Subject Tests prep strategy?

I struggled with the Reasoning Test quite a bit actually. Math was never a problem conceptually, but it was hard to stay focused long enough to get all the questions right. Writing seemed to be forever mundane and I was pretty satisfied with my performance on the test. CR never seemed like a problem because I kept getting better and better at the mock sections, until the test day that is. All in all, I ended up with a poor 2160 (Math- 760, CR- 690, Writing- 710)

The Subject Tests were quite a breeze. The curriculum was similar to that at school, and it was a couple of notches below the school curriculum on the difficulty scale. I managed to max both the tests I took, Math level II and Physics. 

How did your college list change over time?

My college list didn't change much over time. It started off as most people's lists do, with almost all of well known colleges. After researching a lot more on various colleges in the US, I added a few lesser known colleges and safety schools to that list too. Ironically, the college I applied to under the ED program and will be attending, Harvey Mudd College, was one that wasn't originally on my list.

What advice would you give future applicants?

I think it's best to get done with your testing as early as possible. Most people start taking tests seriously and preparing for the standardised tests in the eleventh grade. Looking back, I'd say it's best to try and get it out of your way in the tenth grade itself. This makes even more sense now, since there aren't any board exams for the tenth graders.

What major/s are you considering? 

General Engineering because Mudd doesn't offer specialisations at the undergraduate level. I would like to explore the possibility of majoring in Physics as well.

What excites you about the courses you'll sign up for?

I'm particularly excited about the experimental engineering courses which call for a lot of hands-on work.