3 A variety of methods are used to calculate GPAs. Regardless of the method used, the higher the grades, the higher the GPA—and the higher a student’s GPA, the greater the college opportunities. Some high schools have “weighted grades” for honors, AP (Advanced Place- ment),and/orIB(InternationalBaccalaureate)courses.Ifaschoolhasweighted grades, then a grade in a weighted course is worth more than it is in a non- weighted course. For example, an A in an honors course might be worth 5 points instead of the usual 4, a B worth 4 points instead of 3, etc. Class Rank Approximately half the high schools in the U.S. rank their students. Class rank shows where students stand in relation to the other members of their graduating class. The student with the highest GPA is number one, the student with the second highest GPA is number two, etc. While class rank is sometimes expressed as a percentile, it is most often written as two numbers (e.g., 35/295). The first number represents the student’s place in the class; the second number represents the total number of students in the class. Because GPAs are used to calculate class rank, a student must have a high GPA in order to have an impressive class rank. Class rank is one of several factors colleges use in the admissions process. High School Transcript A transcript is a document detailing a student’s academic achievement. Although the informa- tion included on a transcript varies from school to school, high school transcripts often include the following information: u Courses, grades, and credits for each semester completed, beginning with grade 9 (high school courses taken in middle school are sometimes included) u Current cumulative GPA and class rank u Anticipated graduation date u College admissions test scores (ACT, SAT) u State graduation test scores