A transcript always tells a story. Anyone who looks at transcripts often will have these questions and thoughts as they look at the transcript.
- What classes did the student choose? Did the student chose the hardest classes available to them?
- Are there patterns that can be identified? For instance, does the student do better on reading/writing classes or classes with tests, like math and science classes?
- Did the student have certain years where their grades were stronger?
- Are there any trends, up or down, with the grades, knowing that the pressure of good grades only increases over the High School years?
- Did the student persevere through a difficult class with some bad grades or switch to a class with less rigor?
This story of the transcript will help construct a possible future scenario of performance. This is because the transcript says something about skills, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. An essay or recommendation might fill in the details of any hardships. We hope and think that a student who does well in High School will continue to do well in college.
A standardized test score tells us little to nothing about a student. These scores are an oversimplification of too many variables. Did the student prepare for the exam? Was a typically strong student ill during the exam or just a poor test taker? What are we actually testing? Many will say that the only consistent factor with a good score is the parents’ income. Do we actually think that a student with a lower score is not going to be successful?
Again, consistency over all factors matter more than any one particular piece. A transcript has the richest data and story to tell us. One standardized test score, one GPA and one class ranking are too simplified and no human being wants simply to be a number. All of the factors taken together are useful though and can paint a complicated picture of a human being who is being judged for admission.
The staff at My College Planning Team loves to work with High School students starting in their sophomore year so that we can help think about ways to keep the grades high throughout High School. We are always happy to talk about issues such as time management, study skills and test preparation so that students succeed in High School and beyond. If you are interested in learning more, contact our Academic Team here. We also offer complimentary consultations for parents and students – click here to schedule now.