What's a Good Academic Record for College Admissions?
Your Academic Record is the Most Important Part of Your College Application.
Almost all colleges and universities consider a good academic record to be the most important part of a strong admissions application. A good academic
record, however, is about more than grades. The list below discusses some of the important features that separate a good academic record from a weaker
- Good Grades in Core Subjects
To get into a top college or top university , you'd better have a transcript that is mostly 'A's. Realize that colleges don't usually look at weighted grades--they will consider grades on an unweighted 4.0 scale. Also, colleges will often recalculate your GPA to consider only core academic courses so that your GPA isn't inflated by subjects such as gym, chorus, drama or cooking.
- Full Coverage of Core Subjects
The requirements vary from college to college, so be sure to research the requirements for each school to which you are applying. In general, however, typical requirements might look like this: 4 years of English, 3 years of math (4 years recommended), 2 years of history or social science (3 years recommended), 2 years of science (3 years recommended), 2 years of a foreign language (3 years recommended).
- AP Classes
If your high school offers Advanced Placement classes, selective colleges will want to see that you've taken these courses. You don't need to overdo it if your school offers dozens of AP subjects, but you need to demonstrate that you're taking challenging courses. Success in AP classes, especially earning a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, is an extremely strong predictor of your ability to do well in college.
- Honors and Other Accelerated Classes
If your school doesn't offer many AP or IB classes, does it offer honors classes or other accelerated classes? A college won't penalize you because your school offers no AP subjects, but they will want to see that you've taken the most challenging courses available to you.
- Four Years of a Foreign Language
A lot of colleges require two or three years of a foreign language, but you'll look much more impressive if you take a full four years. College educations are emphasizing global awareness more and more, so strength in language will be a big plus for your application. Note that colleges would much rather see depth in one language than a smattering of several languages. 6. Four Years of Math
As with a foreign language, many schools require three years of math, not four. However, strength in math tends to impress the admissions folks. If you have the opportunity to take four years of math, ideally through calculus, your high school record will be far more impressive than that of an applicant who has covered just the minimum.
- Community College or 4-Year College Classes
Depending on where you live and what your high school's policies are, you may have the opportunity to take actual college classes while in high school. If you can take a college writing or math class while in high school, the benefits are several: you'll prove that you can handle college-level work; you'll demonstrate that you like challenging yourself; and you'll most likely earn college credit that can help you graduate early, double major, or take more
- Rigorous Senior Year Classes
Colleges won't see your final grades from your senior year until after they've made a decision about your admission, but they do want to see that you are continuing to challenge yourself in 12th grade. If your senior year schedule suggests that you're slacking off, that will be a huge strike against you. Also, taking AP and IB courses in 12th grade can have huge benefits when you get to college.
- Upward Trending Grades
Some teenagers figure out how to be a good student part way through high school. While low grades in your freshman and sophomore years will hurt your application, they won't hurt as much as low grades in your junior and senior years. Colleges want to see that your academic skills are improving, not deteriorating.
BRMHS ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSE SELECTION INFORMATION
The following AP courses may be available during the 2016 – 2017 academic year.
AP Calculus AP Statistics AP US History AP Psychology AP Biology AP Chemistry AP Physics I AP Physics II AP Language & Composition AP Literature & Composition AP Studio Art AP Music Theory
What is AP?
Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada, created by the College Board, which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities often grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. The AP curriculum for each of the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study. For a high school course to have the AP designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ascertain that it satisfies the AP curriculum. If the course is approved, the school may use the AP designation and the course will be publicly listed on the AP Course Ledger. 
Why Take AP Courses?
Score and placement info for AP: Biology | Calculus AB | Calculus BC | Chemistry | English Language | English Literature | European History |Physics | Psychology | Spanish Language | Statistics | U.S. Government | U.S. History | World History
If you're planning to go to college and your high school offers AP classes, you should take advantage of the opportunity. The successful completion of Advanced Placement classes has benefits during both the college application process and undergraduate life. Below are six of the biggest perks to taking AP classes.
Hero Images/Getty Images
- Impress College Admission Counselors
At nearly every college in the country, your academic record is the most important part of your college application. The folks in the admissions office want to see that you've taken the most challenging courses available to you. Success in difficult courses is the surest sign of your preparedness for college. The most challenging courses, of course, are college-level Advanced Placement classes.)
- Develop College-Level Academic Skills
AP classes require the type of high-level calculating and critical thinking that you'll encounter in your first year of college. If you can write essays and solve problems successfully for an AP class, you've mastered many of the skills that will lead to success in college.
- Save Money
If you take enough Advanced Placement classes, you can potentially graduate from college a semester or even a year early. Early graduation isn't always a good idea, but for a student who isn't receiving financial aid, it can save tens of thousands of dollars.
- Choose a Major Sooner
AP classes can help with your selection of a major in two ways. First, each course provides an in-depth introduction to a specific subject area. Second, a high score on an AP exam often fulfills one of a college's general education requirements. This means you'll have more room in your schedule to explore different academic fields early in your undergraduate career.
- Take More Elective Classes in College
Not only do AP classes help you zero in on a major sooner, but they also free up your schedule so you can take more elective classes (college classes that are not required for graduation). For many students, a college's general education requirements and major requirements leave little room for fun and exploratory classes. If you want to take that interesting class on glass blowing or the occult, AP credits will make it much easier to fit the course in your schedule.
- Add a Minor or Second Major More Easily
If you're particularly driven and have multiple interests, AP credits can make it more feasible to add a minor (or two) or even a second major to your undergraduate academic plan. With a standard work load and no AP credits, you might find it impossible to complete the requirements for two majors in four years.