Smart Steps for Sophomores: Advising Hours with Giebien

Recorded Friday, January 22 at 12:00 AM

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About this livestream


Join Giebien Na for another installment of CollegeVine's Smart Steps for Sophomores Advising Hours!

In this event designed specifically for current sophomores in high school and their families, Giebien will open the floor to allow you to ask any and all questions you might have about navigating the second year of high school and how to continue to develop your profile in preparation for the college applications process.

Stop in to ask a few questions or stick around for the whole hour to learn from other viewers' questions!

Your host

Undergrad College: Williams College '20

Work Experience: I first joined CollegeVine in the fall of 2016. Since then, I've worked as an essay and admissions consultant, SAT tutor, and hiring manager within the company. More recently, I've also advised hundreds of students in my livestreams, specializing in liberal arts colleges and standardized testing content.

My Admissions Story: I did almost everything wrong in my undergraduate applications, and I was never supposed to attend Williams. The fact that I did is the best thing that ever happened to me! I've learned a lot of tips over the years on what to do in your college applications, and I have ample first-hand experience of what not to do as well. But the biggest lesson of all? Don't let yourself stress too much about the admissions process. Things (somehow) found a way to work out for me in the end. They will for you, too!

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Giebien and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
3:21@the1:Would we be able to take the subject test over the summer if we schedule the test in a week?
4:31@anonymous:What should us as sophomores, be starting to do for our college application processes?
4:46@anonymous:How do you use 10th grade effectively?
9:26@anonymous:How many ap courses should I take as a junior if I'm planning on applying to selective schools?
11:40@Gianna:If my school doesn't offer a lot of AP subjects should I independently study for APs and how would I start that? (for next year)
14:59@anonymous:Is Ap Psych or AP Human Geo be better for Archeology.
15:42@anonymous:Should we take both the ACT and SAT?
17:15@anonymous:What should we be doing to prepare for junior year in the fall?
20:15@anonymous:What is the recommended amount of AP classes for a prestigious school?
20:45@vicentia101:I don't have so classes because I'm a college student as well, I will be graduating with an associates. Will that be okay? Not having ap's?
21:54@anonymous:What looks better to colleges, getting an A in an AP class but not passing the AP test (at least you branched out)..., or getting an A in a regular class?
22:26@anonymous:Do you recommend to take ap tests if your teachers are not preparing you enough?
23:44@Gianna:How does taking courses at a local college look on a transcript vs. taking APs?
25:29@Gianna:How should we deal with volunteering and clubs that we miss out on because of the pandemic to strengthen our application...what should we replace them with?
28:33@anonymous:Was the ACT or SAT better for you?
30:07@anonymous:Do you have any insight on college sports/the recruitment process?
33:33@anonymous:Should I take AP Physics or AP Chem in my senior year? My school doesn't allow freshmen or sophomores to take AP Physics or AP Chem
35:05@anonymous:How do we know who to ask for our letter of reccomendation?
35:08@anonymous:For example, if we don't know our guidance teacher that well should we still ask them? or ask a teacher weve had one year?
38:49@anonymous:Does living in a big city (Los Angeles/BH) make it harder to get into selective schools? Since so many people apply for here.
41:17@anonymous:Ah sorry, going back to recommendation letters what's the maximum amount of letters you can submit if you know a lot of teachers well? Also, is asking a counselor a good option? I've heard that a lot of students do that so I'm not sure if it would help me stand out
44:46@anonymous:Steps to researching colleges?
50:15@anonymous:Should you get letters of rec in sophomore year?
51:01@anonymous:Is it important to get recommendation letters from STEM teachers if I go for bio major even though I feel my English teacher knows me better?
52:29@anonymous:oxford or MIT for a CS Major?
54:24@anonymous:Do colleges like to see students forming their own club, or becoming the leader of an existing club?
57:10@anonymous:If I am doing research with a professor, can I ask him for a recommendation letter?
59:35@anonymous:How long would you say we should study for the SAT's/ACT's? When should we start if we haven't?
64:42@anonymous: Teachers tell us to focus on AP classes that we would pursue rather than taking easy APs to raise weighted GPA. Is it meaningless to take those APs to get a higher weighted GPA?
67:49@anonymous:Would you recommend a part-time job in the summer or should we do more volunteer work?
70:27@anonymous:Do all pre-med students have shadowing experience during highschool?
74:18@anonymous:do college admissions offcerss check social media?
76:43@anonymous:AP classes or dual enrollment for selective schools like Stanford?
78:09@anonymous:How many APs did you take?
79:07@anonymous:What ECs did you do as a sophomore?
80:31@anonymous:Thoughts on the removal of SAT Subject tests and optional essays?
81:59@mmkdp:Do we really need huge achievements in order to get into elite colleges?
83:59@anonymous:Is it bad that Im obsessed with AP classes?
86:19@anonymous:Why is it harder being Asian American harder to get into selective schools compared to others?
87:57@anonymous:How do weighted and unweighted GPA's compare to each other on college applications?
89:50@mmkdp:A lot of colleges is going SAT optional now. I would like to know if I submit my SAT scores now, would it affect my application? Or is the best if I don't submit my SAT scores at all?
91:52@anonymous:Do you have to submit both SAT and ACT or just one?
92:12@anonymous:What are some things you wish you knew as a sophomore?
94:44@anonymous:How do i make my essay compelling enough?
98:24@mmkdp:How do we write good personal statements? I think like most people, I don't have anything significant to write about. What can I do in this situation?
101:24@anonymous:what are considered low act scores
102:39@anonymous:what are good liberal art schools
103:35@anonymous:what are good schools for english majors?
104:32@anonymous:what schools did you get into that u applied to?
105:24@anylabarker:do you suggest involvement in a bunch of activities or investing a large amount of time in only a few activities to use on college apps
108:52@anylabarker:will it look bad i drop 1 or 2 AP classes next year. I think i have too much on my plate but i dont want that too seem like im not motivated
110:42@anylabarker:do colleges focus more on weighted or unweighted GPA
112:49@anylabarker:when should we start preparing for SAT and ACT
113:56@anonymous:Do many Asian Americans admitted to prestigious schools have perfect GPA (no Bs at all) ?
115:18@anylabarker:is there an application fee for most or every school


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