Which Counts More-GPA or Class Rank?

<p>Question: I have a pretty high GPA (3.89 Unweighted; 4.35 Weighted), but a low class rank (96/300). How much does this affect my chances at an Ivy League school? Do they care more about GPA or class rank? College admission officials care the most about your grades in the most challenging courses, especially in your [...]</p>

<p>View</a> the complete Q&A at CC's Ask The Dean...</p>

<p>what counts more, gpa/rank or standadized test scores?</p>

<p>If forced to put them in order, I'd say:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>GPA (and also the rigor of the classes counts a lot. Sometimes GPA takes this into account with weighted grades and sometimes it doesn't, if grades are not weighted)</p></li>
<li><p>Test Scores (when required, of course, but often used when not required). Scores can be more important than many college officials will concede because they can serve as a tie-breaker among applicants with identical GPA's and ranks.</p></li>
<li><p>Rank (Many schools don't rank, and some don't weight ranks which can penalize students who take the most rigorous classes but get no extra credit for it. Also, at many schools, a fraction of a point can separate the #1 student from #10, so colleges do take this into consideration. Admission officials will also notice when a rank has been torpedoed by an early slip up. Or sometimes when a student transfers from one high school into another, the rank may end up lower due to different weighting systems. So rank has to often be taken with a grain of salt.)</p></li>
</ol>

<p>does anyone know what schools put less weight on test scores?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Scores can be more important than many college officials will concede because they can serve as a tie-breaker among applicants with identical GPA's and ranks.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I think I saw a list somewhere schools that do not <em>require</em> the ACT. in this case, and I believe a very selective school such as bowdoin does not require a std ized test score, how does the colleges apply a 'tie breaker'?</p>

<p><a href="http://collegeapps.about.com/b/2009/03/03/now-815-test-optional-colleges.htm%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://collegeapps.about.com/b/2009/03/03/now-815-test-optional-colleges.htm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>
[quote]
I think I saw a list somewhere schools that do not <em>require</em> the ACT. in this case, and I believe a very selective school such as bowdoin does not require a std ized test score, how does the colleges apply a 'tie breaker'?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I'm not sure what you're asking, here, Roderick. Do you want to know what test-optional colleges might use for a "tie-breaker"?</p>

<p>Well, for starters, test scores aren't the only tie-breakers that come up in committee meetings. Many other factors, such as a great interview or an unusually strong essay could fill that role as well. Often, in such situations, there may be several admission officials in a room, each trying to lobby for a favorite candidate or one who is from the geographic region that this official oversees. So the "tie-breaker" in each case could be any distinction that the counselor thinks will help to set the favored applicant apart ... significant hardships that the student overcame, a CD full of poems or artwork, an atypical hobby, etc.</p>

<p>But even at the test-optional colleges, ACT's and SAT's are commonly still tie-breakers. When two seemingly similar borderline candidates are discussed, and one has sent in strong test scores and the other has sent in no test scores, then the applicant with the good tests may prevail, without other compelling reasons to admit the one with no scores submitted.</p>

<p>by tie breaker, I meant, if two applicants to a college that does not require a std ized test score are just about equal in the gpa/rank area, how would they adjudicate the applicants ? let's also say that each is just about equal in the essay and the ECs areas, too.</p>

<p>but I think you have provided sufficient insight into the app process.If a school is at all selective, such as bowdoin, eg, I bet most applicants supply a test score - unless they have a mother teresa-like resume.</p>

<p>If I were to list them in order:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Rigor of schedule: This is one of the only true ways to judge someone's academic enthusiasm and talent. However... you shouldn't take them and fail them either. At my school, which is a quite competitive public, I have a 3.76 (3.56 JHU UW GPA) with all APs and honors and that puts me in the top 15% (closer to 10% than 15%). There are many kids who have a higher rank but take average level courses, which unlike the honors and AP classes here, are, as my math teacher would say, "Mickey Mouse."</p></li>
<li><p>Test Scores: Like it or not... its puts most people on a more or less even playing field. Sure, not everyone is a good test taker... but tests are an integral part of education.</p></li>
<li><p>GPA/Class Rank: Should be taken with a grain of salt IMO. A GPA of a 3.8-3.9 can often translate into a mediocre rank. A high rank can often translate into a mediocre GPA.</p></li>
</ol>