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
Amanda and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream
or on the Q&A Forum
5:56@Sck22000:How should we build our college lists? and is it possible to have too many "reach" colleges on your list?
6:15@philip_0327:How much weight does the PSAT carry during the college admissions process? Is it only for scholarships?
6:18@anonymous:Can I take a free period my junior and/or senior year if I'm doing IB?
6:22@anonymous:How do I “level up” my extracurriculars (STEM related) as a sophomore? What would stand out to colleges most?
8:11@bluedevil:Since you are an alumni interviewer, any cool passions or hobbies you have seen recently from candidates?
9:40@stemcurious:I will be taking AP Chem as a junior next year. Any suggestions on how to get a head start so it will be easy to do well in class and on the AP exam??
11:42@anonymous:any recommendations for extracurriculars during covid?
13:06@stemcurious:What are the typical stats of admitted students into biology at Duke?
14:35@philip_0327:Do you recommend taking AP exams by self-studying? I am considering self-studying for the World History AP exam to take it in junior year since I was not able to take it in sophomore year.
15:55@CEMBoston:Hi Amanda! I'm finding I really like Chemistry. However my extracurriculars are tennis, Deca and other non-science activities. Is it too late for me to apply to top schools in chemistry?
16:27@Sck22000:Is it a disadvantage to apply undecided?
19:08@anonymous:i was planning to start a nonprofit based on assisting language learning, is that worth it?
20:19@anonymous:i was planning to start a nonprofit based on assisting language learning, is that worth it?
20:31@stemcurious:For ECs does it matter if I do independent research in biology or chemistry or directed research in a group?
22:54@anonymous:How much do research papers in high school help your application?
24:24@anonymous:Is it better to get an A in a non-honors course or a B in an honors course? Like geometry for example.
25:42@philip_0327:How would colleges (in general) interpret a student taking a good number of IB HL classes and 2 AP classes in a school that offers 4 APs?
26:50@CEMBoston:Will it be harder to get into a top college in Chemistry than other majors because I will be competing with more applicants? Would environmental science be easier?
29:20@sidney:How can I stand out my spike in environmental protections and business?
31:41@philip_0327:What was the hardest IB HL class you took? Additionally, how many IB HL/SL classes did you take?
33:52@stemcurious:Is research experience more valued if it is done independently?
35:32@anonymous:Do you look lazy if you only take math and science SL?
36:36@anonymous:Could having a social media page with 5k+ followers about mental health be a good extracurricular to stand out?
38:00@Oyinkansola678:how do you get a research position?
40:26@anonymous:Would taking a summer program at a college improve your chances of getting into that college?
41:37@anonymous:A different way to ask my question: I don't know what I want to major in, but I do have home ec interests (gardening, etc.) How can I find majors that apply, and the colleges that offer them? I like the idea of unusual majors, but with thousands of colleges, I don't know how to start narrowing them down.
44:25@anonymous:What university/college/community college do you attend? Juat wondering ✌✨
45:03@sidney:Should I start writing my PS?
46:49@anonymous:IB - if in IB HL taking bio, math and Econ - is that ok ?
47:50@philip_0327:What are some of the extracurriculars you did? Roughly, how many extracurriculars did you take overall?
49:47@anonymous:In getting research awards, what do judges look for in a paper?
52:04@anonymous:What is the best way to spend the summer between sophomore and junior year?
53:48@philip_0327:What's your take on publishing unofficial research/essays in various areas of interest?
54:50@anonymous:How much do you feel the interview w/an alumni contributes to an admission decision? Is it more to weed out the obvious wrong fits?
57:35@anonymous:Would u recommend something like "crimson education" to guide you through your high school career and to supposedly "increase admissions"?