Your Academic Record is Always the Single Most Important Factor
Ensure your four-year curriculum is competitive for your target college and demonstrates your unique strengths and academic passions. If your high school limits your choice of AP/H courses and electives, you can always explore community colleges or even online courses to boost your UC GPA.
Overwhelmed with your academic load? Strong study skills are a must to excel in high school and college. Learn to plan study schedules well in advance of exams, consistently review material in challenging classes, and monitor your grades so you always know how close you are to meeting your academic goals.
Set goals at the start of every semester and adjust them as you determine how difficult every course is. Even if you aren't always achieving your targets, a consistent trend of improvement shows colleges you're working hard and committed to learning.
Know someone who unexpectedly got into their dream college? This could have been the result of exceptional recommendations. Teachers are asked to rank students on traits like "Intellectual Promise" and "Reaction to Setbacks" and can indicate students are "One of the Top Few I've Encountered." Be proactive in getting to know teachers and help prepare them to help write strong letters.
No idea what you plan to study? Explore various fields under Jennifer's guidance. While students can apply "Undeclared," identifying academic passions strengthens your admissions profile and knowing your likely major helps you pick the right colleges and ensures you meet additional entrance requirements.