What are Colleges Looking for Beyond Test Scores?

What are Colleges Looking for Beyond Test Scores?

What are Colleges Looking for Beyond Test Scores?
Colleges search for well-rounded students capable of more things than one—academics. College admissions officers look for bright students with passion, curiosity, motivation to persist in a class and environment with diverse backgrounds. Even though test scores and grade records are important, it does not show who you truly are.

But it should not be neglected. Once you get the scores you want, a score you think will land you into college, it is now time to improve your college application. Below are things we think you should focus on whether you’re junior or senior.

If You’re a Junior

  • Start looking for colleges

Plan on going to casual college visits to see what it looks like in person. Consult your college counselor on what you expect to learn or get in your college experience. A student leadership experience? Access to top-notch internships? What are the colleges’ best offerings? Consider the factors that will be important to you regarding those that matter: academics, campus culture, and even financial aid.

  • Keep up with the extracurriculars

A list of extracurriculars will look impressive to a college admissions officer. May it be a varsity team, cultural club, or a school publication. This will show that you are versatile and you have a lot of things to offer to the campus. If you still don’t have an extracurricular, now is the time to get to it.

  • Build a bond with a faculty

Establishing a relationship with an adult at school, whether it is your teacher, coach, or adviser, will be helpful for you in the future. They are the ones who will help you write letter recommendations for you. So, participate in your class, ask for guidance when confused, and keep in touch with them.

  • Make summer count

While some students enroll for programs in college to start earning credits, others find time doing outdoor activities or getting a job. Summer activities are best spent productively.

If You’re a Senior

  • Explore and compare colleges

Research your college options with your college counselor. This is the time when you need to visit as many schools on your list as possible. Consider different aspects of why this school or that school will be the right one for you.

  • Practice your interview skills

Interviews are a big part of a college application, however, some colleges don’t require it. But you must be ready. Finesse your interview skills with a family member or friend. Draft a list of possible questions for them to ask you.

  • Polish your college essays

Reread your college essay from an admission officer’s perspective. Does it authentically tell your story? Is it interesting enough to keep them reading? Aside from this, check for errors in typos, spelling, and grammar.

  • Ask for recommendation letters

Senior year is the time to give your teachers the notice to write you an amazing letter of recommendation. Tell them about what you’ve learned in your stay at high school. Provide them all the information that they will be needing to write an impressive recommendation letter.

The college has a lot to offer to students like you. If you want to know more about this phase in your life, read more of our articles.


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