3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Does being at grade level math put me at a disadvantage?

Hi! I am a current sophomore enrolled in the geometry equivalent class at my school, AKA just grade-level math. In the specific context of my school, a lot of my peers are one, two, or even three years ahead of grade level in math, and I'm wondering if even though I do not plan on a stem major (I'm thinking English lit, poly sci, or psychology), will this put me at a disadvantage for competitive schools like Harvard and Yale?

For a little more background on me, I am predicted to graduate with a 4.51 GPA W and 3.9 GPA UW (top 7% of my class with like 10 AP's and several community college classes), with two B's (one in honors chem and the other in community college intro to psych).

I started and run a nonprofit, am traditionally publishing my fiction novel, I have a leadership position on my school's mock trial team (also doing youth court in the summer), participate in theater, summer psychology internship at a UC, started a club, member of National Honors Society and California Scholarship Federation, and am a member in other clubs.

Will these activities and strong grades in advanced classes relevant to my major help me stand out, even with non-advanced math and a few B's?

Thank you!

@Quinn2713 years ago

Hi! I know someone already answered your question, and I'm sorry to get off-topic, but I'm currently in the process of finishing up a light novel/a novella, and I am so happy to see another young author on here!! Can I ask how you're currently going about traditionally publishing your novel?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@anonymousems3 years ago

Hi, that's great! I'm in the process right now of speaking with agents and just working out who the best fit might be! It is a really long process, I sent out a ton of emails before getting a response! Hopefully, after I sign with someone, they'll pitch it to a publisher who wants to buy it. Good luck with your project!

@Quinn2713 years ago

That's awesome, thank you for responding, I wish you luck also!:D💜

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

Your other grades and activities more than make up for taking a grade level math. Your GPA is strong, you have many APs, and your ECs are on or even above par for students applying to top schools. However, to look even better you could try to take a more advanced math (honors, AP, dual-enroll) for the next two years to stand out even more to colleges. Let me know if this answers your question!

3 years ago

Hi there! Everyone struggles with putting together a schedule that works for them, so I'm glad you asked this question. As others have said, you have a lot going for you outside of math that shows that you excel in places you care about. The college admissions process is a holistic one; no one aspect is likely to sink an application if the rest of the application is strong. In addition, if there's a place to have an area of weakness, it's in something pretty opposite to your intended field of study. Well-rounded students are great candidates, but colleges are just as (if not more) likely to be interested in someone who's a little "pointier" -- someone who goes above and beyond in a slightly more specific route. Therefore, while you can't neglect your other classes, doing well in the ones relevant to your future field of study definitely carries a little more weight than less related classes.

You seem to have a pretty cohesive application. That is, your activities and classroom experiences line up with your stated interests, which is a great way to demonstrate passion beyond saying that you are interested in something. With all this in mind, I wouldn't stress about your math situation. If you feel in the coming years that you're ready for a bigger challenge in math, absolutely take the step, but as long as you are doing well in math designed for your grade level, it shouldn't hold you back in the grand scheme of things.

Keep up the great work, and best of luck!

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)

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