CommonLounge Archive

Holistic admissions: Subjective Vs. Objective Measures

July 05, 2017

A lot of colleges that do a holistic evaluation will judge your application on two axes: objective and subjective.

Your objective score is based on your standardized testing and GPA.

Your subjective score takes into account your extracurriculars, essay, letters of recommendations, interview with alumni etc.

It’s important to try to rank highly on both these measures. However, there are cases where students with incredible subjective scores (i.e. winning an international competition, launching a successful company, etc.) don’t need to have a high GPA or test scores since they’ve already demonstrated that they excel at things they’re passionate about.

The weight that each college places on these measures will vary quite a bit. A lot of local colleges will place most of the weight on objective scores, but a lot of Ivy Leagues will place more weight on subjective scores (provided that the objective scores are still above a minimum cutoff).

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