How realistic is the Chancing Simulator?Answered
I've been using the chancing simulator a lot to reassure me that I'll get into the college I want since I have a 51-60% percent chance of getting in, however, I worry that it's not entirely accurate and I'm banking too much on a calculated guess. My friend who is far more knowledgeable and has a brother who got into my dream school says that these chances are highly inaccurate and that the school is far more competitive (suggesting I have a low likelihood of getting in with my current grades).
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I'm Matt -- I'm a data scientist here at CollegeVine and one of the main people behind our chancing algorithm. Thanks a bunch for asking this question! The most important thing I can say is that our model (which we overhauled a couple months ago, so it might be a different version than when your friend initially looked at or used it), does a very good job of predicting your chances. There are a few ways that we measure what a "good job" means internally, but there's one metric we cite the most internally -- calibration.
When we say our model is well-calibrated, what that means is that when we say that 100 students have a 55% chance of getting into some colleges, about 55% of them actually end up getting in. For you, this is a really good sign -- it means that you can trust our predicted chances to be accurate representations of your actual chances at the schools on your school list.
I also feel obligated to say that our chancing model is the most complex one out there. It's the only chancing model that accounts for as many factors as we do: We don't only look at your academic profile, but we also factor in your ECs, your intended major, your demographic background, and where you're from, just to name a few.
One thing to keep in mind though: It's important to frame your chances in a way that makes sense to you. A 55% chance is not a guarantee of acceptance, and it's not a guarantee of rejection either. It's about the same chance as you flipping a coin and getting a heads, so while there's a great chance you'll get into your dream school, it's also super important to build out a well-balanced school list that has a good mix of reaches, targets, and safeties so that you can maximize your odds of going to a school you love.
Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions!
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