Admissions Tip #2: How To Choose Your Teacher Recommendations

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Below we have some advice given to a student who asked how they should choose which teachers to ask for a recommendation.

Tip #2: Choose the teachers that know you the best, not the ones with the fanciest titles

For your teacher recommendations, we recommend going with the two teachers that know you the best. One common misperception is that you should have 2 science/math teachers write you a recommendation. However, it is far better to have a humanities teacher write your recommendation if that's the one that knows you better. I would also recommend reaching out to friends who went to your middle school and are at TJ now to see who they got their letters from. That could give you valuable insight into which teachers write better recommendations and which ones to avoid.

As a whole, you're looking for teachers that are going to write very positive things about you and use concrete examples from your time in their class to do so. That means picking teachers who know you better, not necessarily ones that have fancier titles. In our experience, what year you had the teacher (7th or 8th grade) doesn't seem to matter either. In addition, when you are giving your teachers an "info sheet" for what to write in your recommendation, be sure to load it up with examples that demonstrate things like character, integrity, brilliance, etc.

Check back in soon for another insider application tip!

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