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No 'One of the top few I've ever encountered in my career'

hdwanghdwang Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
edited January 2008 in College Admissions
I was just wondering, what if your teacher/guidance counselor never tick any of the 'One of the top few I've ever encountered in my career' ?

Does that spell immediate doom or a severe blow to your application?
Post edited by hdwang on
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Replies to: No 'One of the top few I've ever encountered in my career'

  • Fanatic517Fanatic517 Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    Do you automatically expect to receive that? That means just that- one of the top few ever encountered in one's career. The very best of the best. That's not something just handed out to every decent student.
  • hdwanghdwang Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    wow that's like a 5 second reply after my post. I was just wondering if it severely affects your application (negatively of course) if you dont get that box. I mean if you get the next category (Outstanding top 5%), colleges will say 'ok not a top student'?
  • tapedDucktapedDuck Registered User Posts: 705 Member
    I got recs from three teachers/advisors for the common app... 2 of them (i think) gave me mostly 'one of the top in career', the other gave me lower ticks (probably mostly arond top 25%)... what will colleges make of that?

    I don't think it will make a huge difference... its what they write that counts more
  • MilkmagnMilkmagn Registered User Posts: 711 Member
    It's the actual content of the letter that matters, not some stupid checkmarks...
  • stanfordkid2008stanfordkid2008 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    ^^^^...I'm gonna have to disagree with that b/c those "checkmarks" stand for a lot....
  • aisgzdavinciaisgzdavinci Registered User Posts: 1,997 Senior Member
    How would you define 'One of the top few I've ever encountered in my career'? Academically, socially or what?
  • RedduneReddune Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    Go for the young teachers, since they've been teaching only for a few years, you might get that superlative.
  • tapedDucktapedDuck Registered User Posts: 705 Member
    All the teachers I got recs from have been teaching for at least 30 years... what's considered a 'great' recommendation??? My teachers just said 'He is a great student, motivated, hard-working, good leader, involved in school, blah blah blah (lots of other complimentary words). I give him my highest recommendations'. That seems vague and not very in depth to me, but they all know me very well.

    I've heard good recs need to include a story that shows your true character and will actually show the adcoms something new about you. So, are the recs I got bad?
  • jmarinjmarin - Posts: 1,384 Member
    they are generic
    once teacher gave me those
    the other teacher i basically told her how to write it
    she was like ok because she never written for college
  • tapedDucktapedDuck Registered User Posts: 705 Member
    so are the generic ones bad???... they've been teaching for 30 years, they should know how to write rec letters by now
  • jmarinjmarin - Posts: 1,384 Member
    i really dont know
    well either way the 30 years must be good
  • tapedDucktapedDuck Registered User Posts: 705 Member
    when colleges (in my case MIT/Caltech) ask for a humanities teacher... foreign language counts right??? I got 1 rec from my spanish II teacher who is also my math league coach.
  • jmarinjmarin - Posts: 1,384 Member
    yes im pretty sure it does
  • cory123cory123 Registered User Posts: 1,825 Senior Member
    hmm i saw both of my teacher's recs. One checked "one of the top i've enconuntered in my career" for ALL of them....so i dunno how that'll seem. The other teacher told me he didn't do that, to make it look more genuine, so he only checked "top in career" for 60-75% of the criteria. I think often times teachers will just want to help you out so they'll just check it for the hell of it
  • nmehta4nmehta4 Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    i think its very important to take reccomendations with a grain of salt. The purpose of a recommendation is very limited. Its to get an overall picture of a candidate in other person's eyes. Most recommendations are indeed generic, but its nice to stand out with something unique.

    I dont think colleges value recommendations to a great extent. They are just part of the admissions process. Think about it, in comparing 2 individuals how can one rank above the other simply because they have more ticks as one of the top few ever taught. It is all very relative. In my opinion it is bs. It tells nothing about you. I know teachers at my school tick almost all of them off as top few ever encountered when indeed it is not true. Call it dishonesty, i just call it bs, it is really hard to measure.

    So if I were you, I wouldn't sweat it at all. A recommendation won't get you rejected unless on the very rare occasion it is negative. The other prongs that admissions judges you on far outweigh any recommendation. Keep that in mind.

    Happy New Year
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