2 years ago
Admissions Advice

can i get into a top school with one bad semester?

Hi, so I'm in sophomore year and I know this is too early for me to ask but because of my pneumonia and infections, I had to skip a lot of school last semester and even went to the ER. I had to take 2 tests in one period and everything and ended up getting a b in pre calc h, b in intro to java, and c in chem h. My UW gpa right now is a 3.78 and I wanted to get into a STEM major but my grades aren't really looking that good right now.

My current ecs are:

1. Established a CS competition club

2. Won multiple awards for vocal(performing at carnegie hall and stuff)

in all state honor choir

3. won awards from hackathons

4. volunteered 200+ hours for tutoring at a local high school

5. volunteered/interned at a my local hospital

6. won an essay award

7. in the robotics, mechanic, and engineering club

8. autocad courses, coding(java, python, c++, javascript) courses

9. School JV tennis team

10. legislative council

12. Young scientist journal

13. NAKS volunteer award(gold)

13. prob usaco(?)

so do you think I should change my major and even though it's kinda early, do you think I have a shot at some top colleges if I can keep my grade up from now on? Also is there any other way to make me more unique(?) or stand out so I can cover up from my bad slip up?

btw. I didn't have many ecs cuz it was during covid and everything


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Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

I would not worry too much about your 1 bad semester. Most people who have 1 bad semester do not have a 3.78GPA but a 3.2 or something like that.

The most important thing you can do right now is self-care, stay healthy and have some sort of strategy that works for you.

I see 4 EC trends, 1.) CS and Coding, 2.) Music and Choir, 3.) Writing 4.) Volunteering. I don't see much leadership or athleticism.

My advice to you is continue to get good grades and course rigor. With regards to ECs, you need to find or create some leadership positions. With you spike activity if that is Coding, you need to create some WOW factor or Sizzle Factor, your STEM ECs are a dime a dozen for STEM applicants so you need to create some Apps, work on some independent research project, make something to show off. If you want to get into a top STEM university, you need to show them something special so work on that.

Keep up with the singing and the Tennis. Try to make Varsity and be the Team Captain senior year if you can. And your community service needs to translate less into volunteering and more into leadership positions. Apply to community board of directors and city council positions. Be brave and bold. Be a leader not a follower.

Good luck.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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