Here’s the bad news – your grades are WAY more predictive of your performance in college than your test scores, and colleges tend to look down on students that “underperform”, meaning you haven’t achieved the potential in your grades that your scores indicate you have. But there is hope!
Some schools REALLY want to improve their average test scores, so in some cases they may weigh those scores more than expected and give you a boost despite your academic performance. Please don’t count on that – – there is more you can do!
Colleges love trends in grades as an indicator of performance, and, of course, up is better. Raising your grades late in your junior year and early in senior year is best, but even late in your senior year can make a difference. Be sure to point out any changes in your grades, even if you’re just anticipating that they will improve. You may even want to ask the admissions committee to hold off until they see your third quarter grades (which, if you’re on the borderline, many will do anyway) before making a decision. Plus – bonus – you get to LEARN more while improving your study skills and thus your chances of improved grades in college and ultimately greater success in life – and wouldn’t that be just delightful?
What not to do – please don’t tell me how you’re really fantastically smart but your school deson’t challenge you enough or how all the teachers hate you and that you’re smarter than them and so your grades are awful even though you will do much better at my school because you can if you really wanted which I should be able to see in your stunning scores. That is almost verbatim an essay I already saw this year (including the atrocious grammar and run on sentence!). At least take responsibility for your grades and tell the committee how we can expect you to do better.
Next time – a special note for those of you whose grades take a dive because of some kind of terrible life situation. Be seeing you.
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