2 years ago
Admissions Advice

which grade in hs is more crucial/which one do colleges look at?

which grade level do colleges typically look at? 10th, 11th, or 12th grade?

for example which year is the one that you should take more seriously?

i only chose a few aps my junior year but a lot of extracurriculars, and planned on taking almost all aps my senior year. do all years matter or does one matter much more than the others?

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4 answers

2 years ago[edited]

10th and 11th are equally important.

12th grade not so much because many students start applying to college November 1, which is only 6-7 weeks into the school year. No one has any grades for 12th grade at that time, and most decisions come back by the 2nd Week of December which is before the semester grades are recorded. Therefore you want your 10th/11th grade transcripts, ECs, leadership/community service to bear evidence of success prior to starting 12th grade. Taking most of your APs during your senior is big mistake because all the AP exams are given 2 weeks before you graduate from HS. You get your AP test scores over the summer and most college decisions are completely closed by the first week of April. Also, 12th grade is a very busy year because most high achieving students are working on college essays, fine tuning their "spike" ECs, planning our their college lists, visiting schools and doing senior activities like Fall Formal, Winter Formal, Football games etc etc. Bandwidth runs out quickly.

Hope this is useful to you.

2 years ago

11th grade is the most important year in terms of academics. This is because it is the last grade where colleges will see a full academic year's performance on your transcript - colleges will only see one semester's worth of senior year grades at most.

Your performance as a junior is also a closer indicator of your academic readiness for college than your grades as a freshman and sophomore. For this reason, I would recommend shifting your extracurriculars to senior year and focusing on APs as a junior. Hope this helps!

2 years ago


Schools emphasize particular years more or less depending on what your application plan is. For example: Early decision/action students aren't going to have their senior year grades considered whatsoever, however the rigor of your class schedule can matter, especially for more competitive schools. Regular decision, ED2, and late term rolling applicants who submit a senior midyear report will have their 12th grade transcript taken into serious consideration. Stanford university is a great example of this, where they explicitly describe how the admissions decision for RD candidates can be significantly influenced by senior midyear reports (https://admission.stanford.edu/apply/decision_process/index.html). Here's the general standard for admissions:

Early applicants:

- Junior year grades are THE most important. Sophomore and freshman grades are given less of an emphasis.

- Unless deferred, senior year performance will not impact your chance of admissions (unless quarter/trimester/predicted grades are requested)

- Although senior year performance won't be considered, the rigor of your senior year will contribute to your admissions decision.

Regular/Rolling applicants:

- Junior and Senior (first semester) grades are the most important. Sophomore and freshman grades are given less of an emphasis.

- Unless you don't submit a midyear report, your senior year performance will have a significant impact on your admissions decision.

- Senior year rigor STILL MATTERS. Taking a difficult selection of classes (relative to your school's course catalogue) should be constant throughout your entire transcript.

What also matters is how many AP classes your school offers. If a student isn't offered the resources to take 10+ APs, prestigious colleges will recognize that and take your course rigor into a relative consideration.

Depending on how many APs your school offers, it seems like you're doing good for your junior year. 2-3 APs is standard, though not ideal. You have your senior year to make up for any lack in rigor. Consult with your school counselor and see what course load might be reasonable for you in 12th grade. Best of luck!

2 years ago

11th is when you need to be the most on top of your work, 10th matters as well and only the beginning of your senior year matters, but the majority of your application is predicated on what you do your junior year, that's when most people test, and when most peoples GPAs are almost locked.

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