You guys aren’t up to ranking schools on your applications yet, but that's something to keep in mind as you start looking at schools.
So. Ranking. Keep in mind that not only are you ranking schools on your applications, but schools are also ranking students. And then, a computer and algorithm makes matches.
This article does a terrific job explaining how the system works:
Someone forwarded me this today, from Manhattan Hunter Science’s website:
Who We Looking For:
We look for students with a strong record of attendance, grades of 80 and above, and levels 2-4 on NY state exams. Because we receive thousands of applications and only have space for approximately 100 student, it is very important to rank us high on your HS preference sheet. The higher the rank, the more likely a match.
No, high schools DON’T see how you rank schools. If someone tells you that you need to rank them number 1 to get in, that’s not true. BUT, how you rank makes a difference when the computer is making matches. The higher you rank, the more your chances increase at getting the school you want. Sometimes. If you rank schools you don’t meet the screen for (this happens way too often), or if a school doesn’t rank you high on their end, there could be glitches.
Confusing? Totally. Transparent? Not at all. Is it a total crapshoot? No, but you need to think carefully about how you rank schools. And it doesn’t work to try and game the system. Ranking what you want first, both in specialized and main round choices, is the way to go.