Spark Admissions Blog

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Why do Colleges Look at the Rigor of Your High School Transcript Before Anything Else?

March 04, 2013
Written by Rachel B. Rubin

With that being said, taking the most challenging courses available at your high school is not a golden ticket to get accepted into the college of your choice. Admissions offices also want to see that you not only challenge yourself academically, but that you are able to succeed in those challenges. Thus, the grades you received in your courses is the next thing that admissions offices examine.

After learning these two pieces of information, many students ask, "What if I take AP Government and get a B? Is that better or worse than taking an honors or regular Government class and getting an A?" While it may bring down your GPA to take the AP class, I would still say go for it! It may be hard to see that B on your transcript, but most colleges calibrate their own GPAs for their students, and they additional points for taking an AP course, which ends up counting more than if you got an A in a less challenging class.