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College Test Scores and High School Transcripts

Throughout high school students prepare for college by excelling academically and taking college admissions tests like the ACT, SAT and SAT Subject tests. Some students even take Advanced Placement courses and AP Exams. The way these activities will be presented when you apply to college is in the form of high school transcripts and your top college test scores.

College Test Scores

Most colleges will require you send a copy of your college test scores. Schools accept either the SAT test or ACT test, and many will accept your highest score in both or either one. Any given application should detail which to send, and the best way to send it. Usually you can request that the test be sent to up to six different colleges the day you are taking the test. But, many wait and send them afterwards using the college test's website. If you take these tests a junior, you will most likely request that they are sent when you actually apply to college, fall or winter senior year. As with all your application materials, make sure you allow enough time for your request to be processed.

>> Learn more about College Testing.

High School Transcripts

All colleges will want an official copy of your academic transcripts as part of the college application package. Most colleges will require that your high school sends your transcripts directly to their admissions office. To be safe, leave plenty of time for your high school registrar to process your request.

  • Most high schools have their own transcript request forms, but some don't. Find out from your school guidance counselor what your school requires to obtain an official transcript for when you apply to college.
  • Give your high school at least three weeks notice prior to the deadline. This way, you can make sure your transcripts will arrive at your colleges on time.
  • Some colleges also require a Secondary School Report and/or a Seventh Semester Grade Report to track your academic progress during the fall semester. Check to see which colleges want these reports and submit a request to your high school at the same time you submit your request for transcripts.
  • A number of colleges may request that you send a copy of your official transcript at the end of your senior year. Schools can revoke your acceptance if you slack senior year or take away merit aid, so beware of senioritis! Also take care to check the final transcript gets sent.

The Importance Of Test Scores and High School Transcripts In Admissions

Schools will use a variety of factors to qualify students for admissions. Some schools rely heavily on college test scores, using a minimum score to rule people out, but more and more colleges are placing less emphasis on test scores.

Most schools agree that a student's academic profile, as suggested by high school transcripts, is the most important factor in this decision. From the grades a student received, to trends in achievement from freshman to senior year, to the assortment of classes and how challenging they were — a transcript can give the school a good feel for your academic appetite and skills. Other application materials, like your admissions essay, letters of recommendation and a possible interview, however, are all ways to help strengthen your chances of being accepted if test scores or high school grades are low. Often these application materials are vehicles to help explain that a year of low grades and put your academic achievements into perspective.

Other Materials You Need In Addition To Test Scores and Transcripts

Explore the resources below to learn more about the application materials you will need when you apply to college:

>> Learn more about College Applications and how to complete them.

>> Learn more about College Admissions Essays and tips on developing essay topics.

>> Learn when and how to request Letters of Recommendation.

>> Learn how to ace a College Interview.