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How to improve the chances of chances threads?

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Replies to: How to improve the chances of chances threads?

  • mflevitymflevity Registered User Posts: 1,201 Senior Member
    My personal pet peeve is when people rating others' chances clearly have no idea what they are talking about.

    If you're predicting someone's chances at 8 different schools but you're only familiar with 5 of them, you should only include predictions for those 5. Otherwise, you will leave the applicant confused and other people annoyed (i.e., just because you've never heard of Middlebury doesn't make it a "match/safety").
  • lyc0r1slyc0r1s Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    @t9805193: well, ten minutes isn't a long time. Wait say a couple of days. Bump it up if it gets off the first page. (but ONLY if it gets off the first page... otherwise it just looks annoying). also, chance others and leave a link at the bottom of your post.
  • stnystny Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    The thing that bothers me most about chances threads is that students will take the replies as gospel and may be discouraged from applying. No one on these threads has a crystal ball. Everyone knows of students who are accepted/rejected with low/high test scores and GPAs, mediocre/outstanding ECs, etc. One important piece of information which cannot be conveyed on a chance me thread is the applicant pool from the OPs high school. Applicants compete not just with students from every corner of the globe, but also with their fellow high school students. My feeling is that students should go with their gut when it comes to applying to a school. Their gut speaks louder than any of the voices on the chance me threads.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,472
    The thing that bothers me most about chances threads is that students will take the replies as gospel and may be discouraged from applying. No one on these threads has a crystal ball.

    This is a correct statement. Still the best way to find out your chances is actually to apply.
  • michiganfallmichiganfall Registered User Posts: 685 Member
    The title of a personal chance thread is no longer attractive,people always want others to chance back,that's the way you get more responses.
  • irishevan99irishevan99 Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    I think the chances threads can be helpful for 3rd party opinions, but I agree with you tokenadult that it shouldn't be taken as gospel.

    One thing I think we have to remember on college confidential is that for the most part we're only looking at very high-tier students, no one else even knows this place exists. I think that's why everyone's stats look the same and seem boring sometimes.
  • aaaa11aaaa11 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    This was excellent advice as well, kyledavid80
  • decrescendodecrescendo Registered User Posts: 1,160 Senior Member
    There should be categories per school:

    _ Definite Admit
    _ Good Fit
    _ Low Reach
    _ Mid Reach
    _ High Reach
    _ Very High Reach
    _ Don't Bother Applying

    ^Haha okay, maybe the last one's a little too harsh, but the others should be used as a standard to chance people IMO.
  • MikalyeMikalye Registered User Posts: 1,337 Senior Member
    There should be categories per school...

    But nobody knows... That's the basic truth. I have been an interviewer for my university for some years, and at the end of an interview, discussing the candidate and their interests for ninety minutes or so, and at the end of that time, I still rarely know whether they are going to get in or not.

    Now I am not complaining. I should not be able to tell. I do not read the letters of recommendation, nor the essays. Nor do I know how to interpret the scores that are listed in the context of the whole application. For the most competitive schools, the factors of admissions that can be readily apprehended in a forum post (GPA, SAT scores, etc) are in many ways the least important in their process. (a direct quote from an admissions office rep from MIT).

    Academically qualified is a necessary but not sufficient criteria for admission at all of the top schools who regularly reject students with very high or even 2400 SATs. Now some data is available. For example, for the MIT class admitted in 2006, 97% of the admitted class had SAT I math scores greater than or equal to 650, yet only 19% of applicants with scores 750-800 were admitted.

    Does that tell you anything? It doesn't tell me much. And if you think that this is useful, then it is published information not helped much by a "chance me" thread.

    The reason that chance threads suck is not because of a lack of a consistent and applicable taxonomy of chance levels, it is because nobody on these boards, often including the admissions office representatives, can accurately chance anyone based on even the most detailed "chance me" post. I don't even know how to interpret "LOR's great; Essays Great; Interview went great" Nor do I believe that anyone applying can judge this fairly.

    In most cases, it is simply a waste of time.
  • collegeisgood998collegeisgood998 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I seriously think that people should stop doing these chances things because everyone who answers to these probably has no idea what they are talking about. Anyone can just create an account and give some bs explanation why someone won't get into a college, when they could possibly have a great chance of getting in. Unless the responder is an actual admissions counselor, or has CONSIDERABLE experience in this field, I would listen, but it seems to me that all of the posters on these threads are either fellow applicants with no experience in the process AT ALL, or weird adults who have nothing better to do but to get back at well qualified students because they didn't get into their dream school. Sounds like a ridiculous thing to do, but there are millions of ridiculous people in the world
  • theespys69theespys69 Registered User Posts: 523 Member
    1. I've come to learn that chance threads are *****ing st*pid because most of the time its just other high school seniors (who really don't know as much as they think they do) chancing others. I'm in my 2nd year of college right now and even I don't know how to accurately judge someones chances for a college. So for starters, please don't take chance threads seriously.

    2. Especially for the very selective colleges, the essay is an important deciding factor, and lets not forget that its completely left out of chance threads. And when you make chance threads, please don't write stuff like "my essays are awesome" or "my essays will be awesome because I'm a really good writer". Even if one of your teachers looks at it and loves it, there's no way you can know what the admissions officers will think. It is likely that your teachers, friends, or parents will look for different qualities in essays (compared to admissions officers) to judge how good it is, so don't get your hopes too high even if your English teacher is impressed.

    3. Recommendations are also fairly important (well at least teacher recs). However, it is for the most part left off of chance threads. That makes it hard to accurately chance a person since you haven't read their teacher recs. And please, please don't write "both my teacher recs are amazing" You're not even supposed to read your teacher recs (or at least your teachers won't really give you a chance to read it since they will probably mail it directly and they aren't supposed to show them anyways), so 3/4ths of you that claim that you have awesome teacher recs are probably just BSing or assuming. And please don't assume either and say something like "my teacher recs are probably amazing or will be amazing since my teacher likes me more than most students". This means nothing. Even if the teacher thinks you're the best student ever, if they don't know how to write a recommendation in general, your rec will suck.

    4. Don't glorify counselor recs. Even if you've read it and even if it is amazing, seriously don't be content about it. Don't even bother putting it on the chance thread since most colleges don't take counselor recs seriously (because most schools have like 3 counselors helping 2-300 students or more).

    5. Don't do chance threads for HYPSM. Please, it's not much to ask for. It's a reach for everyone, and you aren't an exception unless you cured cancer. If you have at least a 2100/32, a 3.7/4.0, several AP/IB classes, and a few solid EC's, you will have a chance at HYPSM. Admissions at HYPSM is a crapshoot, so once you have at least that, there really is no way to tell whether or not you will get in (or even how big of a chance you have) until decisions come out.

    6. Use BS excuses in your chance threads. If you aren't from a disadvantaged background, and if you don't have a disability/learning disorder, then "I'm not a good test taker" isn't an excuse for your mediocre SAT/ACT score. It's called becoming a better test taker, and anyone who has the work ethic, persistence, patience, and spends time practicing can become a better test taker. Also, if your GPA isn't that great, don't try to say "oh I was a freshman and I was adjusting so my grades were bad that year and it brought down the rest of my GPA". Guess what? So was everyone else. What about the people who got straight A's freshman year? They were adjusting too. And adjusting is primarily a social thing anyways. Getting good grades is the same no matter where you are: go to class, take notes, ask questions, study, do your homework, and ask the teacher for help if needed. This doesn't change when you transition to high school.

    7. Don't make chance threads when you have a ton of qualifications. I've seen like 10 of these in the last week. Those people have 500 volunteer hours from last year, several internships with big people, many leadership positions, publications in journals, varsity athletic awards, national and international competition awards, and even research experience. Oh and test scores like 2200 and GPAs like 3.9/4.0. I've seen several threads where the OP had that many qualifications, and they're still freaking out. Stop freaking out and do us all a favor and quit posting. You're scaring away other applicants and unnecessarily freaking yourself out. If you're applying to a school outside the top 10, then you are probably at the top of your applicant pool, and if you are applying to a top 10 school, then like I said earlier, its a crapshoot, so there's no way to know how much of a chance you have of getting in. Top 10 schools are reaches for everyone.

    8. Don't get defensive. You wanted to know what your chances are for schools, so if someone says you are a reach for your dream school, then don't get angry because 1) the person who said that probably doesn't know that much and 2) you wanted an honest opinion on your chances, so you are getting it now.

    9. When you make the title of the threads, do make it catchy, but please don't cross the line and have an annoying title like "cH@NcE mE p1e@5e!!!!!!! OMG I'M FREAKING OUT"
  • shyamsshyams Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    theesypys69 provides valid points, especially that repliers usually don't know any more than posters. however, you can't completely rule out "chance me" threads because they usually provide qualified applicants with the peace of mind that they desperately need. the point of CC is to help people, right?
  • kevin101kevin101 Registered User Posts: 1,235 Senior Member
    A lot of "chance me" topics, posters usually forget to put down the "MAJOR" they are applying to. This information is VERY IMPORTANT in the admission decision. Some impacted majors (engineering, computer science, political science...) are way harder to get accepted than other majors even in the same school because everyone is applying for it (you know the more demand, the higher price but in this context the more competition).

    Therefore, PUT DOWN THE MAJOR that you are applying to each school.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    this isn't a chance thread......
  • Dogod11Dogod11 Registered User Posts: 394 Junior Member
    Post # 93 by theespys69
    You have valid points, but you're forgetting the reason people make chance threads at all. Most people don't make chance threads to get perfectly accurate chances, they make it to get some idea of what to expect. People applying to HYPSM, with 3.7+ averages and 2200+ SAT/ 32+ ACT scores, should be smart enough to realize that these chances won't be anywhere near perfect. It's totally illogical to say you'll chance someone back if they chance you. You can chance yourself much better than they can chance you, and they can chance themselves much better than you can chance them. The truth is, though, waiting for a decision is worse than actually being rejected for most people. I don't have experience with applying to colleges, that's next year, but I do have experience waiting hours, days, even weeks for a decision. We all know that feeling when we take a very important test, and there's a 3-day (most tests in school), 3-week (SAT) or 3-month (AP) wait period between taking the test and getting the scores. We all know that feeling from waiting weeks after the quarter/semester ends to get a report card. It's much worse when you think you did poorly and keep second guessing yourself. I personally can only imagine what it would be like to wait 3 or 4 months for a college decision, which is much more important than any single test (and harder than most tests, at least for the HYPSM schools). Chance threads give people a chance to get a "decision" long before the actual decision, which eases the psychological burden somewhat. It might not have any meaning, but it does have a tremendously powerful positive psychological effect, and that alone is a good thing.
    The only exception to that is when someone tells you that you're a definite in at HYPSM. In that case, you might have a lesser burden waiting, but the rejection, if that's what it is, would be much worse - especially if there's multiple rejections (which is extremely likely for someone applying to all of HYPSM).
    The bad side of that is that it can discourage other people from applying to places where they have a chance, but it's unlikely that many people will just not apply because of chance threads.
This discussion has been closed.