SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

How Many AP Classes Do You Need for Ivy League Schools?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 10, 2018 6:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

At many high schools, AP courses are the toughest classes you can take. Extremely competitive colleges are looking for students who are willing to challenge themselves, so they're more likely to admit students who have taken at least a few APs.

In this article, I'll go over how many AP classes Ivy League schools expect you to take and how these expectations can change based on the conditions at your high school. 

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Should You Drop A Class? Does It Look Bad? Why?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 1, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Are you struggling in a class or simply not enjoying it and wondering if you should drop it? Are you worried about how this might look to colleges and future employers? Should you drop a class?

Read this guide to learn about the benefits and drawbacks to dropping and how to decide whether or not you should drop a class.

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Taking Community College Classes in High School: A Guide

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Apr 12, 2018 8:30:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

Are you a high school student who is interested in taking classes at a community college? Community college classes can be a great way for high school students to take more challenging courses and prepare for college.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about community college classes for high school students: the benefits of taking community college classes in high school, when to take them, and how you can start getting enrolled.

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What Is Class Rank? What Is a Good Rank?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Mar 14, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Have you heard of class rank but aren’t sure what it is? Maybe you want to know why class rank is important or how you can figure out what a good class rank is. And, by the way, what is a good class rank? 

We have answers to all these questions! Read on to learn what class rank is, how schools calculate it, and how it’s important for your future.

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What's the Difference? Weighted vs Unweighted GPA

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Mar 8, 2018 8:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Most students think a lot about their GPA in high school. There’s no doubt that GPA is one of the most important pieces of information colleges will consider in your application. However, GPA can vary drastically in the way it’s calculated at different schools. Some high schools use unweighted GPAs and some use weighted GPAs. I’ll give you an overview of the differences between the two and what each type of GPA might mean in the context of your personal experiences.

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What's the Average High School GPA?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Mar 8, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Nearly all high school students have, at some point, wondered whether their GPAs are good or not. One way of knowing is to look at the national averages. What is the average high school GPA? Is your GPA above average? How do you compare with all the other high school students in the country? 

In this article, I'll give you an overview of the national averages for high school GPA so that you can see where you stand. I’ll also tell you what these averages mean for you and how to understand them better in the context of the college application process.

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4 Strategies to Raise Your GPA in High School Fast

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

It can be difficult to improve your GPA quickly, especially if you’re in the latter half of high school already. With your previous grades working against you, you’ll have to put in even more effort to overcome lower averages.

However, there are some measures you can take to have a better chance of raising your GPA quickly and effectively. In this article, I’ll give you different strategies that may help you raise your GPA even if you don’t have much time left in high school.

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How to Get a 4.0 GPA and Better Grades, By a Harvard Alum

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jan 17, 2018 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions, Coursework/GPA

On the 4.0 scale, an unweighted 4.0 GPA means perfection. You need straight As in every classnot even one A- is allowed. In college applications, this carries a lot of weight. You’re essentially telling the college, “High school classes are a cinch. I’ve taken a tough course load, and I’m more than prepared for what college has to throw at me.”

In high school, I got a 4.0 GPA with a course load featuring 10 AP courses. I got straight As and 12 A+'s. This strong course load, along with a strong application, got me into Harvard and every college I applied to.

While it's flattering to say, "Well, Allen's just a smart guy," in reality I relied a lot more on high-level strategy and effective academic habits. These were the same strategies I applied to my undergraduate work at Harvard and that led me to graduate summa cum laude with a 3.95 GPA. This is the guide I wish I had my freshman year of high school.

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The High School Math Courses You Should Take

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 10, 2018 6:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Choosing which math classes to study can be one of the most challenging parts of planning your high school schedule. High schools offer numerous math classes, often at varying degrees of difficulty, and it can be difficult to know which math classes will be the best for you and your future.

Read this guide to learn about standard high school math curriculum, AP and IB math courses, which math classes colleges expect you to have taken, and ways to exceed those expectations.

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What's the Average College GPA? By Major?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 4, 2018 5:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

If you’re still in high school, you might be curious about how GPAs work in college and what you should expect for grades give your major of choice. Just like high schools, colleges vary in how they calculate GPA.  Grade inflation also significantly affects college GPA at most schools, and many students end up with higher GPAs in college than they had in high school.

In this article, I’ll give you the facts about average GPAs at different types of colleges and within a variety of college majors.

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Which High School Classes Do Ivy League Schools Require?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 1, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, Coursework/GPA

College admissions can seem like a giant puzzle, especially if you’re hoping to attend an Ivy League or other extremely selective school. Planning your high school schedule carefully is definitely important, but these schools' expectations aren’t as inflexible as you might think they are.

In this article, I’ll provide a concise overview of what Ivy League admission requirements are for high school transcripts and give you some tips on how to map out your classes so you have the best shot at being accepted.

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Do Colleges Use Weighted or Unweighted GPA?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Dec 26, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

High schools may record students' GPAs as weighted or unweighted. But which type of GPA is taken more seriously in the college admissions process?

In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the differences between weighted and unweighted GPAs and tell you which type is more important.

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GPA Chart: Conversion to 4.0 Scale

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 29, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

Are you looking for an easy way to understand just how your final class grades become GPA decimals? If so, then you've come to the right article. In just two simple charts, I'll show you how this conversion works for both a weighted and unweighted GPA.

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What's a Weighted GPA? How to Calculate It

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Your weighted GPA in high school tells colleges a lot about your ability to take on academic challenges. In this article, I’ll go through a basic description of what a weighted GPA is, why it matters for you, and how you can calculate your own weighted GPA if your school uses this type of scale.

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What Is a Good GPA? What's a Bad GPA for College?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 29, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

If you’re starting to think about your plans for college, you might be wondering what is considered a good high school GPA or a bad high school GPA in the eyes of admissions officers. This is a complicated question, and it depends on several factors that colleges will take into consideration.

In this article, I’ll give you some perspective on what a good GPA and a bad GPA are based on national statistics and your individual circumstances. I’ll also provide advice on the best ways to improve your GPA.

Your coursework and GPA are one of the most important pieces to your college application - some colleges consider it your MOST important factor - so make sure you do your research and know where you fit in.

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