Smart Steps for Sophomores: Advising Hours with Amanda

Recorded Tuesday, February 23 at 12:00 AM

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About this livestream


Join Amanda May 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, Amanda 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: Duke University '20

Major: Biology

Work Experience: Amanda has worked in four different research labs, two at Cambridge University (U.K) and two at Duke University. Additionally, Amanda worked as a tutor for Biology and Chemistry for several years and also served a sales manager for an apartment complex.

My Admissions Story: Amanda applied to colleges in both the UK and the US. After being accepted to Duke and visiting campus during the accepted students' weekend, Amanda knew that Duke was the perfect fit for her.

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 Amanda and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
3:40@lij1207:What was your journey like as an international student applying to university in the USA
6:11@lij1207:Did you take IB or A level courses in the UK?
6:24@philip_0327:If a student gets their full IB diploma certificate (by taking the full IB program) after they get into colleges, why is it worth it at all to take the full IB program?
8:45@Seeingstars:Is it better to take a regular math and get an A or an AP and get a B?
10:16@Seeingstars:How bad is it to have a W on your transcript? Is it better to get a W and retake the class if you have a C?
11:25@anonymous:How many clubs/activities/sports did you participate in?
13:26@lij1207:If you are comfortable sharing, what was you IB score/predicted grade sent to universities to get into Duke
14:33@anonymous:Is it better to have a spike or be well-rounded? And do you have any information on how to take the PSAT this year? With COVID, many schools aren't administering...
16:17@sidney:Did you apply ED or RD to Duke?
17:39@anonymous:What extracurriculars did you do in highschool?
18:36@anonymous:I believe Junior year is the most important year of High school, do you have any advices for moving into 11th grade next year? What should we do in preparation for 11th grade?
21:07@anonymous:What do you wish you had known going into freshman year that would be helpful to others?
22:04@anonymous:Could you breakdown how important gpa, act/sat score, teacher recommendations, essays, and interviews are to the admission process(ex. gpa 50%, act/sat 20%, etc)
25:16@anonymous:what can we do bc of covid now that volunteering and community things are getting cancelled?
26:46@Fathia:How rigorous are the classes at duke?
27:56@Fathia:how is the social life at duke?
29:36@anonymous:Hello! In a past live stream, I attended, you had mentioned that you had done some research experience. I'm planning on entering the medical field. Would applying for a medical internship during my high school years be the equivalent of this?
30:55@anonymous:Did you do a master's degree?
31:57@anonymous:how many extra curriculars? should they all involve some leadership position?
32:57@anonymous:What is the number one thing that colleges look for?
34:48@anonymous:What high school did you attend?
35:00@Fathia:What should you do to boost your application if your school doesn't offer AP or IB classes?
36:08@anonymous:Is it worth it to continue clubs/sports in college? Or should you focus on your studies?
37:27@anonymous:how much more weightage do internships have compared too clubs or volunteering?
38:52@anonymous:Could you go into more detail on what IB is? I have heard of it before, but I'm not really sure what it is, or what courses it includes.
40:19@anonymous:What would happen if your teacher predicted your IB score wrong?
42:24@mimi:Can you talk about UK's application process including timing, deadline, ED/EA/RD, competitiveness? Is there a link that shows UK universities' rankings, application info? What are the top 10 universities in UK? What are major differences between UK and US college application?
47:30@anonymous:How did you find your passion? When did you KNOW that you wanted to pursue biology?
48:54@sidney:What do you think that made you stand out to Duke?
49:43@anonymous:If you feel comfortable sharing, how many colleges did you apply to?
50:13@sidney:Does my entire spike necessarily need to be around something that I intend to pursue in college?
51:17@anonymous:If we have a interest that we have, but we do only mundane in that subject, would applying for that major decrease our chances?
52:18@anonymous:I am very stressed about college, do you have any tips to feel better about getting in?
54:47@sidney:Have you ever met a brazilian at Duke?
55:34@anonymous:Are colleges more concerned with your GPA or your SAT and ACT scores?
56:32@anonymous:my freshman year i had a 3.0 gpa, but now as a sophomore I am maintaining a 4.33. How much will the 3.0 I had in freshman year affect my chances of getting into a top college?
57:09@anonymous:I am considering the IB diploma program. Can you give me a insight of the workload?
57:51@anonymous:I have thought about starting a new club at my school... what would you recommend to students who want to do this?
58:33@anonymous:Do colleges look at the entire application, or do they stop once they see you don't meet a specific score?
59:14@anonymous:I am from a small school with little extracurriculars and AP/honors classes. If I want to go to an Ivy League school what can I do to stand out from other applicants.
60:26@sidney:Can I taket the IB program in the middle of my junior year?
61:56@mimi:Do you feel what you learnt at UK high school is sufficient for you to study at US universities? What are the gaps if any? And vise versa for US high schoolers to study in UK universities. Thank you.
64:58@sidney:I found an university that has the best academic opportunities for me, but I dont really like the campus and the location, should I apply ED?
65:59@sidney:Amanda you are one of the best on college vine, we love youuuuuuuuuuu
66:26@anonymous:If I don't have a lot of great achievements, with the highest being an internship, would that decrease my chances?
68:04@sidney:Do I need to submit the entire ranking of my school? Or my counselour only needs to say my position on the common app?
69:09@anonymous:Are there any extracurricular clubs online? If not could we start one? Would that count for colleges?
69:25@anonymous:What was your GPA (grade point average) in your final year of college?
69:50@sidney:Can I have business extracurriculars even though Duke doesnt offer an undergrad business program?
71:39@anonymous:If I do too many extracurriculars, can that look bad in comparison to focusing on a few that I am really passionate about?
72:14@anonymous:Is it possible to get 20,000 plus in scholarship? Even more?
72:37@anonymous:If we start a business or offer some services (ex. tutoring over the summer), can we include that in our college application?
72:49@anonymous:Any advice for people that don't have any idea about what they want to major in?
73:42@anonymous:Does NOT taking a sport impact admission significantly?


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