2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Standardized Tests

I have an excellent GPA at a highly competitive college prep high school, take AP courses and even a few college courses but have struggled getting desired scores on the SAT and ACT despite prep courses and even being a testing tutor for my test prep organization. I worry that I am just not a good standardized test taker. I will continue to take these tests to try and improve until I start applying for college.

1) What else can I do to improve my chances of getting into my desired University?

2) How accurate are College Vine’s chancing percentages and how are they calculated?

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1 answer

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

First of all, I don't think CollegeVine's chancing is accurate. I think they just give low chance percentages sometimes because the universities are competitive and lot of your chance depends on factors the CollegeVine chancing system doesn't see. So please don't rely too heavily on it. I honestly don't trust it at all.

Also, I wrote a post about the DSAT you may appreciate: collegevine.com/c/junior/50784/first-usa-dsat-upcoming-plus-incredible-free-study-resources-i-love

I myself am trying to get a higher score so I understand that frustration :) Keep plugging away! Persistancy and learning from mistakes is key.

Other ways to improve chances:

1) strong ECs. By strong I mean personalized and passionate. Things that demonstrate your unique passion and who you are as a person. Quality over quantity.

2)Excellent letters of rec. Don't just choose anyone. Any teacher can say you are a great student or volunteer. Choose a teacher, advisor/mentor, coach, employer, etc. who will bring to light unique qualities about you. It's a good idea to give them a couple months and maybe even sit down and talk about it in advance.

3) ESSAYS. These are a huge deal. Practice writing essays- tons of essays. Enter essay scholarships just for practice. Get to the point where you have lots of topic options so you are ready for any topic/prompt they may throw at you. I wrote a post about essays here: collegevine.com/c/junior/49537/make-your-essay-stand-out

Also, this is an essay video I found super helpful: youtu.be/-QXBlOhBGys?si=IhlVtcxzS-STJM9m

I hope this helps. Please lmk if you have any questions! Happy to help.

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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