High School Record Your high school record, which includes the courses you took and how well you did in those courses, is the most important aspect of getting into a college. And it should be as this is the best indicator for colleges of how well you’ll perform when given a rigorous college workload. Colleges will look not only at your overall grades, but whether you chose difficult courses, whether your grades improved, and even whether you’ve let your senior year grades slide.
If you have a lower than average GPA, make sure to show why you should be a serious candidate by constantly challenging yourself and taking courses that demand a lot of intellectual faculty. Keep in mind that there are those select students who may take the same challenging course load and do better; however, they may not have the amount of community service and extracurricular activities as you. Supplement your academics with other activities to show the admissions officers that you are a passionate and well-rounded individual.
Test Scores Like it or not, colleges think test scores are important and will continue to use them to evaluate applicants. SATs, ACTs, and other tests show colleges your mastery of problem-solving, reading, and other basic skills. They also give colleges a way to compare applicants from different schools and backgrounds, and it is a great way to rise above your competition. See Step Two for more details.