Preparing for College

Do Great Test Scores Make Up for Fair Grades?

Question: Can a stellar SAT score overcome a not-so-stellar GPA? How does one best present this scenario to a college admissions board? My son just started his junior year and is geared up to do well. His lapses occurred in 9th grade and early 10th. The high school is highly rated and course load is challenging.

You don't say where your son is aiming, and he's just a junior, so the jury is still out. If his grades this year and in his senior year (especially during the first semester) are strong, then his "rising record" will catch the attention of admission committees. Most admission folks are fairly forgiving when it comes to freshman and even sophomore foibles, especially when standardized tests are "stellar" and the applicant has excelled in tough courses in grades 11 and 12.

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