2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Question about which factor is most important for college application.

I was wondering which is most important factor for college admissons: extracurriculars, GPA, AP scores, or SAT/ACT score.

A little about me: I am a sophomore, I took AP HUG last year, got a 5, haven't taken SAT and ACT, I've won scholarships and competitions for violin.

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Out of the things you listed, your unweighted GPA is still the most important factor.

Your academic narrative will carry the most weight. This includes your UWGPA, your WGPA, your course rigor (how many APs/IBs/DE courses), and your AP test scores, your standardized test scores (either ACT/SAT) and your intellectual vitality/curiosity (evidenced by knowledge acquired outside of HS, supervised research, internships, winning academic competitions, additional college coursework)

Then your ECs cover your sports, talents, "spike" activity, "passion" project, community service, clubs, evidence of leadership. So your achievement level and honors/awards for competing in these ECs matter as well.

Then your personal narrative covers your main essay, supplemental essays, short answers, submitted portfolio, submitted video, interview, recommendations from teachers and your HS counselor.

And all of this is evaluated in the context of your background. So it matters if you are an ALDC applicant which stands for "recruited athlete", "legacy", "development or donor kid", or "child of faculty or staff". And it matters if you have a "hook" which can be a race (Black, LatinX, Indigenous), whether you are a first-generation student (where neither parent graduated from a 4-year college (each school has their own 1st gen definition), whether you are low income or whether you come from a marginalized background like being homeless, or foster child or non-CIS (non-binary), or having some other unique circumstance.

I'm only mentioning the major chucks of criteria. Some schools have other factors like whether you come from an underserved State like North Dakota. There are many many other lesser factors that help inform admissions officers on whether you are good fit for them.

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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