Plan for College

The Top Factors in College Admissions

The college admissions process can be confusing and frustrating, to say the least. Each college has unique requirements, ranging from what standardized tests it recognizes to how many years of a foreign language you'll need to take. Luckily, there are some common benchmarks universal to almost every school. A national survey¹ of college admissions officers identified the four most important factors they consider when evaluating candidates.

1. Grades in College Prep Courses – Grades in AP, International Baccalaureate, or dual-enrollment courses

2. Strength of Curriculum – Both the amount of course work you complete in high school and the quality of those courses

3. Admission Test Scores – Scores on either the SAT or ACT (most schools accept both interchangeably)

4. High School Grade Point Average – Calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number attempted

Other factors found to have considerable importance include the college essay, teacher and counselor recommendations, class rank, and a student's demonstrated interest, which were all ranked similarly.

Next Steps

You might not be able to go back in time to fix that less-than-stellar biology grade from sophomore year, but you can make sure you have an impressive SAT or ACT score to add to your college applications. Walk into Test Day confident and prepared—start prepping now! Kaplan offers programs options in person and Live Online to fit your budget, schedule, and college admissions goals.

Prep smarter, score higher—guaranteed or your money back!

¹ Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling, "The State of College Admissions 2009."

AP®, Advanced Placement Program® or Pre-AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. PSAT/NMSQT® is a registered trademark of the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation which were not involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.
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