By: Susanna de Chenonceau, M.Ed.
Your transcript is one of the most important documents you will send to colleges during the application process. It includes all the classes you have taken throughout your high school career and the grades you received in those classes. Take a few minutes to get to know your transcript with Susanna so you can build the best college application possible! For more help organizing your transcript, login to www.CollegeMapper.com and click on “Transcript.”
Hi, welcome to another edition of the CollegeMapper blog!
Today’s question comes from Cole, a very serious student who wants to know, “What exactly is my transcript?”
Thank you, Cole. Excellent question; here’s your answer:
Your transcript is one page, official document generated by your high school that lists every class you’ve taken in grades 9-12, with the semester grade for each.
You will in your Senior year request that this be sent to every college to which you apply.
There are some things that you should know, Cole, along with everyone else, about your transcript. I’ve written them down.
What is it? Official document.
Who gets it? Every college.
So my advice for you comes in the last three. I think when you’re planning your transcript as a freshman and sophomore and you’re thinking ahead to Junior and Senior year, you should focus on taking four years in your core subjects. That is to say, four years of English, math, history, and science. I would like to go one step further and encourage you to take four years of foreign language. Your state probably only requires that you take two; colleges like it when you take three, and you look great when you take four. Just want to throw that out there. I know you don’t like me right now; kids never want to do that.
And then, my next piece of advice is, make sure your transcript has no errors on it because errors do happen. It’s no one’s fault, it’s always just an oversight. There are a lot of kids in a high school, a lot of things going on, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that that transcript is perfect—that honors classes are denoted as honors classes and that you did, in fact, get a B and not a C. If you find an error be super sweet about it, but you need to be proactive about getting it taken care of before that transcript is sent to the colleges.
And double up. If you know that you want to be a science major, for example, then I think instead of having an open period or a fourth or a tenth class of PE maybe you should take an extra science class because that would demonstrate to your target colleges that you really are interested in science and that you do want to be a science major. The same thing applies to math, English, history, psychology, or whatever you’re particularly interested in. You could always double up in that subject area.
So Cole, and everyone else, I hope that answers your question about what is my transcript.