What Do You Need to Get Into College?
The college admissions process can be daunting. Students must submit standardized test scores, write essays, and collect letters of recommendation.
Many schools require a high GPA as a first filter for applicants. To boost your GPA, take college preparatory, AP, honors, or international baccalaureate classes. Also, consider lowering your standards for B grades in difficult AP courses; this will show colleges that you are willing to challenge yourself. If you're seeking additional advice on navigating the college admissions process, you can explore https://www.wowessays.com/ for helpful resources.
1. Good grades
Generally, the more competitive schools will expect at least a high GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from applicants. Many schools may even use your cumulative GPA for initial screening, and a higher score can open up your college choices.
Taking advanced classes can also help. College admissions committees pay close attention to high school curriculum, and they want to see a mix of honors and AP courses. Taking a summer college class can also be an excellent way to show colleges that you’re ready for college-level coursework.
Make sure you attend all your classes. Attending and participating in classroom discussions is a key to learning the course material. Most professors post their grading policies on the syllabus, and they often weigh participation points more heavily than exam grades.
2. Strong standardized test scores
Many colleges consider standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) an important part of your application. Scores can range from 200 to 800 per section, with the highest possible combined score of 1600.
Most high schools use a weighted GPA system that increases the weight of honors or AP classes, and some colleges have minimum GPA requirements. Check with each college you're applying to and make sure you know how they use GPA in their admissions decisions.
A GPA is often used as a first screen for college admissions, so it's important to maintain a competitive grade point average throughout your high school career. The more selective colleges may also require SAT or ACT scores, and a strong score can help you stand out amongst the crowd of applicants.
3. Extracurricular activities
Besides grades and test scores, colleges are interested in what kind of person you are outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities are where you can showcase your passions, skills and character to admissions committees.
Participating in competitive sports is a great way to show college admissions committees that you can work well with others and possess leadership potential, especially if you are the team captain. Similarly, participating in debate shows that you can engage in intellectual conversations with peers and are well-informed on issues.
Creative pursuits such as playing a musical instrument, dancing or writing are also good options because they illustrate your ability to focus and persevere. Participating in student government or political activism demonstrate that you keep up with current events and have the courage to stand up for your beliefs.
4. Letters of recommendation
Many college applications ask for letters of recommendation as part of the application. These typically come from teachers or counselors who can speak to your academic abilities, but they can also be from club or team coaches, community leaders, employers and other mentors.
These add a layer of information about you that isn’t available through your grades and standardized test scores alone. They show colleges how you interact with and lead others, how well you can work on a team, your depth of character and more. While not necessary for everyone, these can give your application some added default value.
Some colleges offer interviews in addition to the standard application. During the interview, schools seek to assess a student's genuine personality and character. To ensure success, prepare for the interview by reviewing application requirements and practicing common questions with a friend or family member. In addition, ask for recommendation letters well ahead of the deadline to allow teachers time to write high quality recommendations.
The most important question to answer during an interview is, "How do you plan to contribute to this school?" Be prepared to describe specific ways in which your strengths can enhance the college experience. Also, be able to discuss any academic weaknesses and how you've worked to overcome them. The admissions committee wants to see that you are a hardworking and resilient individual.