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How much do teacher evaluations on the common app weight in admissions?

Hoping4StanfordHoping4Stanford Posts: 120Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in College Admissions
Because, what if the teacher happened to not give a good evaluation?
Even if this was the teacher of the class I worked really hard and did a great job in, what if the teacher was having a bad day or was feeling sick and something affected the evaluation?
How much weight do colleges place on teacher evaluations?
Post edited by Hoping4Stanford on

Replies to: How much do teacher evaluations on the common app weight in admissions?

  • T26E4T26E4 Posts: 17,038Registered User Senior Member
    "what if the teacher happened to not give a good evaluation?" "How much weight do colleges place on teacher evaluations? "

    For selective colleges, mediocre or lukewarm or possibly negative teacher reports are 99% fatal to your acceptance chances.

    "what if the teacher was having a bad day or was feeling sick and something affected the evaluation?"

    If you feel the teacher is susceptible to such unprofessional/bizarre actions that would whimsically jeapordize a student's future, you should not choose him/her. Simple. Since you choose the teacher, then you've got no one to blame however.

    You're aiming for Stanford? Look at their criteria. Teacher statements are a huge pillar. There should be nothing confusing or surprising -- if so, then you need to really study their criteria list. Or else apply to colleges that don't require teacher statements.
  • zephyr15zephyr15 Posts: 2,265Registered User Senior Member
    In most cases, teachers recommendations matter little. That's because top students applying to top schools can usually find someone to write something glowing about them. Basically these letters are all similar.

    Where a recommendation can really make a difference is where the teacher can go beyond the 'standard' letter and write something specific and personal, especially if it brings something to the attention of the committee that may not come through on the application.

    IMO, a tepid or bad recommendation might hurt a lot. In HS you have had many teachers, and should be able to find one or two who will not torpedo your chances. If you can't, top-tier school may conclude it says something about you. I wouldn't worry so much about a 'bad day'. The teachers understand what is at stake here.

    Advice -- talk to a teacher. Ask if they are willing to write a recommendation. Most will either say yes or hint that someone else may be better for you. If the teacher is hinting, take the hint.
  • Hoping4StanfordHoping4Stanford Posts: 120Registered User Junior Member
    thanks guys, but i am not talking about the teacher's letter of recommendation. I'm talking about the evaluations on the common app in which they rank your characteristics against all their other students.
  • kellybkkkellybkk Posts: 384- Member
    Teacher evals weight MASSIVELY. If there is any disconnect between what you say in your essay, your academics and what the teacher is saying about you, you are fried. The Evals have to support the other aspects of the application and simply cannot look as if they are out of left field or simply cut and pasted.
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    It isn't always the teacher in your best subject who will review you the best. I don't think that students really consider the process before deciding which teachers to approach.

    Every school and every student is different, but thoughtfully consider your options. Take the time to talk with the teacher about you're goals and about what he or she sees as your strengths and weaknesses. Most teachers take recommendations very seriously. I write mine over several days, and will always tell a student if I think that another teacher could write a stronger letter. I am also very honest about the rankings, and what I write, but will try to emphasize what I feel will appeal to the student's top choices.

    Students have to ask early, and give a resume, and make sure that they pitch themselves a they would like me to pitch them, though, for me to do the best job I can for them.
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    PS If you give me your application essay and it is horrible, and you don't fix it, don't ask me for a recommendation - I am not going to say you are fabulous when there is proof to the contrary. (Speaking as an English teacher who gets this ALL the time) :)
  • cortana431cortana431 Posts: 5,015- Senior Member
    thanks guys, but i am not talking about the teacher's letter of recommendation. I'm talking about the evaluations on the common app in which they rank your characteristics against all their other students.

    Reread what zephyr15 wrote. Top students will usually get teachers they have very good relationships with (and probably do very well in their class on top of that), so that area will look similar for most recommendations. Truly excellent recommendations are ones that accentuate one or more qualities of the student with personal anecdotes and the adcoms can feel the teacher's enthusiasm in the writing.

    For a school like Stanford, teacher recommendations can make you or break you.
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