What Is A Pre Read For College? Full Meaning and Importance

What Is A Pre Read For College

Heading off to college is an exciting and transformative journey in the life of any young person. It marks the transition from high school to a more independent and academically challenging environment. However, before you dive headfirst into college life, there’s a crucial step you might want to consider: the pre-read. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what a pre-read for college is, why it’s important, and how you can make the most of this valuable preparation process.

What Is A Pre Read For College

A “pre-read” in the context of college admissions is a process through which a college or university evaluates an applicant’s academic and extracurricular qualifications before the applicant officially submits their formal application. It’s essentially a preliminary assessment conducted by the admissions office to provide early feedback to prospective students. The primary goals of a pre-read are to help applicants understand their competitiveness for admission and to offer guidance on how to strengthen their applications if needed.

  1. Applicant’s Submission: To initiate a pre-read, an applicant typically submits certain application materials to the college or university. These materials often include:
    • High school transcript: This provides information on the applicant’s academic performance, including grades, courses taken, and GPA.
    • Standardized test scores (e.g., SAT or ACT): If required by the college.
    • Resume or list of extracurricular activities: This highlights the applicant’s involvement in clubs, sports, volunteer work, leadership roles, awards, and other relevant activities.
    • Personal statement or essays: Any essays or statements the applicant intends to include with their official application.
  2. Admissions Office Evaluation: An admissions officer or a designated staff member reviews the submitted materials. They assess the applicant’s academic qualifications, extracurricular involvement, and personal statement or essays.
  3. Feedback and Guidance: After reviewing the materials, the admissions officer provides feedback to the applicant. This feedback can include:
    • An assessment of the applicant’s competitiveness as a candidate for admission.
    • Suggestions for improving the application, such as strengthening essays, retaking standardized tests, or taking specific high school courses.
    • General insights into the fit between the applicant and the college or university.
  4. Follow-Up Communication: Applicants often have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions or seek clarification regarding the feedback they receive. This can be done through email or by scheduling a phone call or virtual meeting with the admissions officer.
  5. Official Application: Following the pre-read and any recommended improvements, the applicant proceeds to submit their official application during the college’s regular application cycle. The pre-read is not a substitute for the official application but rather a step that occurs before it.

It’s important to note that while a pre-read can provide valuable guidance and insights, it does not guarantee admission to the college or university. The final admission decision is made by the admissions committee, taking into account a variety of factors, including the applicant’s full application, the college’s specific admission criteria, and the competitiveness of the applicant pool.

Understanding the Pre-Read

What Is a Pre-Read?

A pre-read, short for “preparatory reading,” is a process that involves reading materials related to your upcoming college courses before the academic term begins. These materials can include textbooks, articles, research papers, and other relevant sources. The purpose of a pre-read is to familiarize yourself with the subject matter, concepts, and expectations of your upcoming courses.

Why Is It Called a “Pre-Read”?

The term “pre-read” signifies that you are reading materials in advance of the actual course. It’s a proactive step to get a head start on your studies and ensure that you are well-prepared when the semester begins.

The Importance of a Pre-Read

1. Gain a Competitive Edge

One of the primary benefits of a pre-read is that it gives you a competitive edge. By familiarizing yourself with the course content in advance, you are better prepared to participate in discussions, ask informed questions, and excel in assignments and exams. This can set you apart from your peers and contribute to your academic success.

2. Reduce Academic Stress

College can be academically demanding, and coursework can pile up quickly. A pre-read allows you to distribute your learning over a longer period, reducing the stress associated with cramming and last-minute studying.

3. Improve Retention

Studies have shown that spaced repetition and exposure to information over time improve long-term retention. Pre-reading helps you absorb and retain course material more effectively than trying to learn it all at once.

4. Enhance Critical Thinking

Engaging with course materials in advance can stimulate critical thinking. You have the opportunity to analyze, question, and form your own perspectives on the subject matter, which can enrich classroom discussions and assignments.

5. Build Confidence

Knowing that you’ve already delved into the course material can boost your confidence. You’ll approach classes with a sense of preparedness, making it easier to actively participate and engage with your professors and peers.

How To Do A Pre Read In College

Performing a pre-read in college admissions involves submitting your application materials to a college or university before officially applying. It’s a preliminary assessment that offers insights into your competitiveness as an applicant. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do a pre-read:

  1. Identify Colleges of Interest: Start by identifying the colleges or universities you’re interested in. Focus on institutions that you’re seriously considering for your undergraduate education.
  2. Visit the College’s Admissions Website: Go to the college or university’s admissions website. Look for information about their pre-read process. Not all colleges offer pre-reads, so make sure the option is available at your chosen institutions.
  3. Contact the Admissions Office: If you find information about the pre-read process, follow the instructions provided. This might include emailing a specific admissions officer or using an online form to request a pre-read. If there’s no information on the website, contact the admissions office directly and inquire about their pre-read policy.
  4. Gather Required Materials: Prepare the materials required for the pre-read. These typically include:
    • High School Transcript: Your official high school transcript, which should list your grades, courses, and GPA.
    • Test Scores: If the college requires standardized test scores (e.g., SAT or ACT), include these in your pre-read submission.
    • Resume or Activity List: Create a resume or a list of extracurricular activities, leadership roles, volunteer work, and other relevant experiences. Highlight any awards or achievements.
    • Personal Statement or Essays: Include any personal essays or statements you plan to use in your official application.
  5. Submit Your Materials: Send the required materials to the admissions office according to their instructions. This might involve emailing scanned documents, uploading files to an online portal, or mailing physical copies.


A pre-read for college is a valuable tool in the college admissions process. It offers students the opportunity to gain insights into their application’s strengths and weaknesses, helping them make informed decisions about where to apply and how to enhance their chances of admission. By taking advantage of this preliminary evaluation, students can embark on their college admissions journey with greater confidence and a clearer understanding of how to present their best selves to their chosen institutions. While a positive pre-read is promising, it’s essential to remember that it doesn’t guarantee admission; it serves as a stepping stone toward a more successful application experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like