Do Colleges Look At Final Exam Grades

Do Colleges Look At Final Exam Grades

When you’re nearing the end of your high school career, you’re probably already thinking about college. There’s a lot to look forward to whether you attend an online college or a traditional campus. You might be wondering if colleges look at senior-year grades.

Is this a time to relax and have fun with your friends, or do you have to keep up your academic performance? Everything you need to know regarding whether do colleges look at final exam grades will be covered.

Do Colleges Look At Final Exam Grades

If you’re wondering what GPA your high school sends to the institutions you’re applying to, keep in mind that GPAs are classified into two sorts. Many schools employ an unweighted grade point scale, in which points are assigned to your class grades beginning in freshman year and used to calculate your grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. For example, a 4.0 GPA on an unweighted scale signifies four years of straight As.

When it comes to admissions, institutions virtually entirely employ unweighted grades. Most admissions offices will recalculate your scores using their algorithms and recompute the weighted grades submitted to them by your high school.

However, if you have taken on a more rigorous course load over the years by enrolling in honours classes or advanced placement courses and done well, a weighted GPA may work in your favour when applying for scholarships. Some colleges will consider your weighted GPA, while others may examine both and count the higher of the two when making a final decision.

According to an article in The Princeton Review, top colleges want a challenging academic load for all four years. Honours and advanced placement courses stand out on your transcript. Colleges are immediately impressed when they notice those classes, especially if you did well in them. Schools will also consider your electives as well as any extracurricular activities.

What grades do colleges look at

Many colleges will be using an official transcript.

The transcript is a separate document from a report card for most high school students since it contains different amounts and types of information. A report card, for example, can include mid-semester grades (also known as quarter grades) or a progress report with teacher comments. A transcript usually only provides final grades, either for the semester or for the entire year.

Transcripts often include information on a student’s absences or, in some cases, standardised test scores, so it’s a good idea to request a copy of your transcript at the end of each year in high school. This way, you can see what’s there and ensure that it’s correct!

Admissions officers care about grades in core academic courses the most.

Sure, it’s fantastic if a student “aced” P.E., but that doesn’t matter to the person attempting to judge academic accomplishment! What is important? Grades in core academic subjects of a student. However, as an admissions officer, I would not have been impressed if I had observed poor or failing grades in non-academic courses. What would that have revealed about the student’s personality or work ethic?

GPAs lie.

They, in fact, muddy the truth. When course weighting, grades for non-academic courses, and differing grading scales are considered, a perfect 4.0 may not be so flawless. I witnessed GPAs of 4.0, 5.0, 7.0, and even 10.0 when I worked at Reed College!

Because high schools around the country calculate GPAs in a variety of ways, admissions examiners look beyond the basic numbers to gain a better understanding of a student’s high school performance over time. GPAs will not be accepted at face value; as a result, it is a regular step in many admissions processes to “recalculate” a student’s GPA and record final grades in each course each year.

So, when you put it all together, what does it all mean? Colleges look at all grades and information on your official transcript (again, acquire a copy! ), but they are primarily interested in analysing your final grades in core academic courses.

In other words, colleges look at final grades in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign languages in the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and (yes, even!) twelfth grades. These are the grades that will be assessed. If you apply early, your admission officer will view grades from the first quarter of 12th grade; if you apply the normal decision, your admission officer will see grades from the full first semester of senior year.

Do Colleges Look at Middle School Grades?

What factors do colleges consider when considering an applicant’s middle school grades? The majority of universities do not take middle school grades into account when selecting students to enrol. Middle school grades are unreliable predictors of future success in school for various reasons.

First, middle school curricula differ greatly from one school or district to the next. For this reason, comparing students from diverse educational backgrounds can be challenging. Moreover, the transition from elementary to middle school is a time of great intellectual and social transformation for many adolescents.

As a result, a student’s early grades may not reflect their genuine skills or potential. Some universities, however, consider middle school achievement when making admissions selections. In many institutions, early grades are seen as a predictor of academic performance. Each university has the final say on whether or not to take middle school marks into account.

What High School Classes Do Colleges Look For?

Although your high school class schedule will be created without your input, there is a method to manipulate the system to your benefit. You’ll be adjusting to a different pace from middle school in your freshman year of high school. Setting a firm foundation by taking all of your basic academic classes as seriously as you can is a good idea.

It’s usually the first time you’re able to add some Advanced Placement (AP) classes to your calendar during your sophomore year. It’s a wise decision. However, when selecting a subject, keep in mind the classes you’ll want to take in your junior and senior years.

Your junior year will most likely be the most urgent and challenging in terms of college applications. Add extra AP classes to your calendar and, if you qualify, register for honours courses. Even if you score a B in an AP class rather than an A in a regular class, colleges look at your courses in terms of the level of challenge you’re taking on.

You can still take AP classes in your senior year, but as previously stated, give yourself some latitude by including some fun electives that interest you.

How to calculate your final grade in a points-based system

1. Determine the point values

The point values are the maximum achievable points for each course task. Your course curriculum should provide this information. Determine each point value and multiply it by the number of times it appears. For example, if each project is worth 35 points and two projects are due in a semester, the total number of points is 70.

Related: Indeed’s College GPA Calculator

2. Record your points earned and the points possible

The term “points earned” relates to your grade on an assignment. Except in circumstances of extra credit, the number of points obtained cannot exceed the number of point values. It could be a good idea to record these data in a T-chart, with your points earned on the left and probable points on the right.

If your teacher uses a point-based grading system but assigns a percentage grade, you can record the percentages instead with no influence on your final calculation. If you’re curious about the point breakdown, multiply the potential points by your grade as a decimal.

3. Add your points and the points possible

After you’ve logged all of your scores, add them all together. Your total score is the sum of your scores. To get an accurate total, make sure you include every score.

It’s a good idea to enter the statistics two or three times to ensure you’ve included every score. Repeat the process for all possible points. Again, unless you’ve earned a significant amount of extra credit, the sum of the points possible should be more than the sum of the points achieved.

If you’re using percentages, add these together as above, but leave out the possible points. Even though these are percentages, the total is likely to exceed 100.

4. Divide your total points by the total points possible

The total points possible denotes the most points you could have received in the course.

In a class with 50 points for participation, 50 points for assignments, 100 points for essays, and 200 points for tests, the total points possible is 400. If you received 330 points in this class, divide that by 400 to get a quotient of 0.825, which translates to 82.5%, or a low B.

Divide the total by the number of entries to get a percentage. Divide the total by 30 if you have % grades for 30 activities, for example. Your ultimate percentage grade is represented by the quotient.


All grades are important, but they are reviewed throughout time, with patterns and trends in mind—and you will never be “just” a GPA. View our college preparation timeline for students to get college preparation information for all four years of high school, as well as significant application deadlines.

Some universities, such as the University of California system, require students to self-report their grades. Only the grades you self-report will be reviewed in these cases.


What are Grades in college Prep courses?

Along with the grades colleges look at, Most colleges prioritize good grades in college prep courses, as it predicts your ability to handle rigorous curriculums. Even if you struggled in your first year, colleges would still favour your advancement and improvement in AP classes.

What is the strength of the Curriculum?

Colleges accept students who have taken challenging courses and performed well in those classes. Don’t worry if your high school doesn’t offer AP classes: admissions officers will consider that. However, if you still want to make an impression, you can pursue the most challenging curriculum available to you.

Are Grades all that Matter for college?

The grades that universities look at are a huge component of your applications, but they aren’t the only thing that matters. Some colleges don’t even require SAT or ACT scores anymore either.

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