If you are seeking admission to a top-tier college or university, academic competition among applicants is stuff, especially today with so many applying to get into college.
College Basics suggests you look at your own high school transcript like a college admissions officer. Here are some things you should find.
1. A four-year schedule of core courses:
• 4 years of English
• 4 years of math
• 3 years of history
• 3 years of science
• 3 years of a foreign language (4 years is better)
2. Evidence of academic rigor, which means, in addition to the core subjects above,
• Taking a few AP classes in which you have a 4 or 5 score on the AP test
• OR taking some honors level courses
• OR taking a college course outside your high school
3. Continuous academic rigor throughout your senior year – Even if you have met all the requirements above by your senior year, you still do not want to look like you are slacking off your senior year.
4. A good GPA – Colleges look at your GPA with a realistic eye. They do not generally weigh grades but assess your grades on a 4.0 scale, and they will recalculate your GPA minus any non-academic course (chorus, drama, gym, art) grades. Grades that improve are better than grades that decline over your four years in high school.
Good, steady academic performance is a must for those seeking admission to better colleges and universities. There really is no way to pad grades or get out of taking a hard course schedule. The best advice is to constantly challenge yourself academically if you are college-bound, and… to do your homework!