a year ago
Admissions Advice

How to emphasize biliteracy in Mandarin

I’m interested in pursuing engineering. I understand these programs are competitive and I realize, in comparison to other engineering hopefuls, I don’t stand out on paper (I’ve taken all the STEM AP classes my school offers, several honors classes and a CIS class - pretty typical for someone who wants to go into engineering I would think). However, I struggled during our “distance-learning/COVID year”, and my GPA was negatively impacted. From what I’m reading on this site, currently, my GPA is lower than others (currently unweighted is 3.4 and weighted is 3.78). My only unique quality is that I’ve been attending a Chinese Immersion school since Kindergarten so I’m bilingual in Mandarin. I’ve taken the Chinese Proficiency Tests – YCT, HSK, and I’ll receive the Global Seal of Biliteracy on graduation. I’ve been attending Chinese language summer camps, traveled to Taiwan and we participate in every local Chinese cultural event that we can (Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn, Lantern, Spring, Dragon Boat Festivals etc..). I think my Mandarin competency and cultural awareness would be beneficial in the engineering field so I’d like to try and highlight this as much as possible. Besides, listing Mandarin as a language in the Common App, is there anywhere else that I can highlight this skill set to set me apart? I thought about listing it in the activities section under “Cultural” but it doesn’t really seem to fit here. Does anyone have any insight?


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Accepted Answer
a year ago[edited]

The personal statement in the common app is a good option. 650 words opportunity to stand out.

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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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