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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How do admissions officers actually read through applications?

This has been bugging me for a while... when admissions committees are reading through our applications, how do they do it? Like, do they read every single word or do they skim through parts? Really just trying to understand the process so I can tailor my app in the most impactful way.

7 months ago

It's natural to be curious about the admissions process and how your application will be evaluated. While the process may vary slightly depending on the institution, admissions officers usually start by examining the 'big picture' components of your application, such as your transcripts, test scores (if applicable), and extracurricular activities. This initial overview helps them assess your overall academic and extracurricular profile in the context of the applicant pool.

When it comes to essays and personal statements, admissions officers will usually read them in their entirety. However, they might not spend a ton of time poring over every single word, so it's essential to make your points clear and concise. Since admissions officers read hundreds or even thousands of applications, making an immediate impact with engaging and focused writing can make a meaningful difference.

With regard to recommendation letters, admissions officers may skim through to see if there are any standout qualities, achievements, or anecdotes to consider. They're looking for information that supports and enhances your application while shedding light on your personal character.

For more on the admissions office process, check out this CollegeVine article: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-does-a-college-admissions-office-work

In summary, it's important to be mindful of limited attention spans when crafting your application. Aim to make each component as engaging and impactful as possible while maintaining clarity and conciseness. A well-tailored application will help convey your story and potential to admissions officers.

7 months ago

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CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.