What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What does language proficiency mean on the Common App?

I’ve been learning Spanish for a few years and I’m not sure how to rate my proficiency on the Common App. Do colleges expect fluency, or is conversational enough? How does this section affect my application?

7 months ago

The language proficiency section on the Common App gives admissions officers a sense of your comfort and ability with languages other than English. It's great to hear about your commitment to learning Spanish! It's important to honestly assess your skill level—colleges do not necessarily expect fluency unless you're applying for a major or program that might require it, like international relations or a language-specific degree.

When indicating language proficiency, think in terms of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding. 'Conversational' usually means you can handle everyday interactions and discussions, but you might not have the vocabulary or grammar for more technical or complex ideas. If that's where you are with Spanish, then 'conversational' would be the right choice.

This section can positively impact your application by demonstrating your initiative to learn a new language and your ability to engage with diverse cultures, which are both valuable in a globally connected society.

An accurate assessment of your language skills is more beneficial than overstating your proficiency. It adds another dimension to your profile, but it's only one part of your overall application. Keep up the good work with your Spanish studies!

7 months ago

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