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Berkley and UChicago are my top schools, what can i do to make myself standout?


I live out of state. I am currently am a sophomore in high school and I plan to take 11 APs over the course of these 4 years. I have a couple of leadership positions under my belt and I am 1 of 8 editor for the paper at my school. I have graduated from a language programs that grants me a diploma (from an actual college). I started my blog this year and plan to push out an article a day. I am a part of the Speech and Debate program as well. I also started the Science Olympiad program at my school. I am part of the Spanish Honors Society as well. I have also done over 100 hours of community service. I need impressive achievements that set me a part from my constituents. My GPA unweighted is 3.7 and weighted is a 4.2... Any suggestions?

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As a high school senior who was recently accepted to UCB (sorry I don't know very much about UChicago), I found that the UC system specifically favors athletes over other students. Judging by your description, I'm assuming you likely are less involved in sports than other academic events (similar to myself). As a soon to be rising junior, I think your largest concern should be preparing for the SAT/ACT and attempting to raise your gpa if possible over participating further in extracurricular events since you already have many to mention. A safe score for admittance is a 1500 for the SAT and in my experience, most other students that were admitted had between a 3.9-4.0 unweighted gpa.

Of course that isn't to say that it's impossible to get in with a lower score. I ended up taking 4 AP classes last year and this year (8 between the 2 years) and watched peers who struggled through 5+ APs actually hurt their chances. Being aware of your own abilities is important. It would be better to take an on level or honors class than have significantly worse grades in AP classes.

Good luck!