Dear College Peas,

I’m very worried about my high school transcript. I did very well freshman and junior year but I completely destroyed my GPA sophmore year. I plan to make all A’s senior year. Is it true colleges focus more so on junior and senior year grades?

-Alex

Dear Alex,

Grades are important because they demonstrate your ability to handle academic work. Colleges don’t want students who can’t handle the work.

If you plotted your grades on a graph you want them to be consistently high, or consistently trending up after a low point early in your high school career. So, if you bombed sophomore year, make sure your grades increase a little each semester since then and make sure you have a strong ending which is first semester, senior year. Colleges will put more emphasis on your later grades than your earlier if they see an upward trend.

If your grades went up and down each semester a college will see you as inconsistent. If your grades trend down each semester they will think you can’t handle harder and harder work.

So, if you can’t keep straight A’s throughout high school just make sure you do a little better each semester.

-Mike