It’s never too early to start thinking about university. Middle school is the perfect time for students (and their parents) to sit down and talk about the future. While it would be a bit premature to assume a middle school student has their future career path perfectly planned, it is a great time to start an open dialogue. Parents can talk with their students about their favourite school subjects, hobbies, where they would like to volunteer, and generally what’s important to them.
The ways a student chooses to spend their middle school years can positively or negatively affect their chances of getting into a good university. But to what degree? And how much do middle school grades matter? Let’s take a look.
How Important Are Middle School Grades?
Middle school, or grades six through eight, are highly formative years where students start to think more about their future, hobbies, and what careers they’d like to pursue. If they get good grades in specific classes, it might help them decide if they want to pursue similar courses in high school. While good grades are important, they are not necessarily the most important part of middle school development.
Middle school grades are also more subjective. Some middle school teachers are more lenient, and others are tough. While this is sometimes true in high school, most high schools follow a set grading standard.
Do Universities Look At Middle School Grades?
Many students take what they learned during their middle school years with them for the rest of their lives. One thing they don’t take with them to university is their grades. Even the most highly-competitive universities do not look at middle school grades.
Practically speaking, middle school is just too many years from universities. The university application gives admissions teams enough information to make their decisions. Additionally, a lot of change happens during these years. Students mature, learn more about themselves, and grow up a lot in middle school.
For more information on GPA and grades, download our FREE eBook, Acing Your Academics for US University Applications.
What to Do During Middle School?
Even though universities don’t look at middle school grades, it doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Students should use the middle school years as preparation for high school. By figuring out study skills that work (and don’t work) before they enter high school, they will be more prepared to handle the rigors of high school and university.
Parents, teachers, and students can work together to ensure that middle school students have the knowledge and resources to enter high school with confidence. It’s important to note that middle school is a time of transition. As students mature, they better understand themselves and their work habits. This understanding helps them build confidence in their academic and personal lives.
Here are a few tips parents and students can use to help improve middle school grades and prepare for high school and university success.
1. Develop good study habits
Get in the habit of using a planner. With countless online and paper planners available, students can choose one that works for them. A planner helps students manage their own time and keep track of deadlines. Updating a planner takes practice, and middle school is the perfect time to practice these skills.
2. Focus less on the grades
Since middle school grades will not count on a university application, parents should address academic and personal challenges so students are more confident when they start high school. Parents can help students identify their most significant challenges and work together towards achieving them.
3. Starting Brainstorming Your Future Abroad
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It sounds cheesy, but it is essential to begin brainstorming your future as early as possible. As you may know, Canadian students that aim to apply to top US universities start building their applications at the start of high school. Building a robust application, exploring your extracurricular activities in-depth, and taking the academic prerequisites don’t happen overnight.
4. Consider a US Boarding School
One way to determine your path for the future and hone in on your passions, is to explore the world. Crimson’s US boarding school support program provides students with the guidance to successfully apply and experience the education that lies in US schools before university applications.
Crimson helps students worldwide gain admission to world-leading institutions with personalized guidance on everything from grades and test scores to extracurriculars and interviews. Schedule a free consultation with one of our expert Academic Advisors, who can answer all your questions and help get you started on the path to success.
Can Middle School Students Take High School Classes?
While most middle schools in Canada do not offer high school courses at a middle school level, there are online opportunities beyond their local school that students can explore.
For students who would like to take additional classes on top of their current coursework, consider an online high school such as CGA, which offers Online AP and Online A-Level courses for gifted students looking to enhance their academic profile.
What Are US Universities Looking For?
Even though US universities don’t look at middle school grades, they evaluate students’ foundational academic skills, which typically start developing in middle school. For example, middle school students learn to become independent, critical thinkers during their middle school years. Since middle school often includes long-term projects and tests, middle school students also start to understand the importance of effective time management. By planning and prioritizing, they become more productive with their time. Organization is another skill middle school students learn as they become more independent. These critical skills will help them get good grades in high school. Since most of these skills develop over time, the sooner a student can start implementing them, the more prepared they will be for college.
Universities also look for students who are passionate about their academics and excited to bring their knowledge and enthusiasm to their school. The earlier a student can identify their strengths and passions, the longer they can build on them. So, by the time they reach university, they’re fully invested in their specific career path.
For middle school students looking to enhance their foundational academic skills, Crimson offers a junior US university preparatory program known as Crimson Rise to help you can a jump start in your US university application journey!
When do grades start counting?
Most Canadian universities take your final two years into account when evaluating your application. However, US admissions officers take a slightly different approach and look at grades starting in the first year of high school. As part of their application, students submit a transcript with their grades and GPA from the first three years of high school. Most universities will ask for the fourth year, but they typically use the grades from the first three years to determine admission. Arguably, the most critical year for grades is the 3rd year, or junior year, because these grades are the most recent and will give US and Canadian universities the best picture of a student’s abilities. Particularly those who are applying to universities during the early round.
By developing good study habits and mastering project and time management in middle school, students will be more prepared to handle challenging high school classes and get good grades.
How to Prepare for US University Admission in Middle School
Even though university applications are still a few years away, it’s not too early to think about the future. Here are just a few ways students can prepare for college in middle school.
1. Get good grades
While universities don’t look at middle school grades, good grades help students get into advanced placement classes or International Baccalaureate (IB) in high school. Universities will look at those!
2. Develop effective study habits
Habits take time to develop, so the earlier a student can learn how to study, the better off they will be in high school and university. Effective study habits include:
- Taking quality notes
- Eliminating distractions
- Creating a study plan
- Keeping track of deadlines
- Asking for help
- Getting lots of rest
Additionally, if middle school students learn to read and comprehend text thoughtfully, they’ll be more prepared for high school when classes and grades matter.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Explore Your Passions
Middle school students should start thinking about the classes they enjoy and those that come more naturally. If students enjoy history and literature, they should research careers that include those subjects. If they’re naturally talented in math, they can start taking higher-level math courses to prepare for advanced classes in high school.
Middle school and high school are the best time for students to explore themselves and find the courses and activities that are meaningful to them.
4. Start working on Extracurriculars
It’s never too early to volunteer or participate in hobbies and extracurricular activities. If students continue the activity into high school, they can include it in their university applications. Specifically, US universities like to see the dedication to a particular activity and students who take their volunteer time seriously. Plus, early introduction to an extracurricular usually creates more passion for that activity. The extra experience also helps students land leadership positions as high school students in that activity.
Final Thoughts: Do middle school grades matter?
US and Canadian universities do not look at middle school grades, but using the middle school years to prepare for high school effectively will help students achieve higher grades and get into their dream schools.
Middle school is challenging. It’s a time of adjustment, maturity, and self-awareness. Peer pressure is high, and many students focus primarily on fitting in. Parents can support middle school students by remembering what helped them succeed in high school and university. They can explain why university is important and help their students nurture their interests by encouraging them to stay focused on their goals.
Crimson Education offers a unique program called Crimson Rise. This personalized, holistic program prepares young students aged 11-14 for the rigors of high school and beyond. Through personal guidance and one-on-one instruction, students can leap ahead of their peers long before beginning the university application process. For more information, book a free consultation!
Colleges will not look at any of your middle school grades, unless you are currently taking classes for high school credit. (Typically, these include only algebra and foreign language.) However, admission officials won't pay very much attention to your 8th-grade transcript, even if you are in credit courses.Do universities care about middle school grades? ›
No, colleges will not look at your grades from middle school. Colleges focus on your grades from high school, which will be shown on your high school transcript. I hope this answers your question! Your counselors probably know more, but generally middle school grades don't impact your college application.Do middle school grades matter in Canada? ›
US and Canadian universities do not look at middle school grades, but using the middle school years to prepare for high school effectively will help students achieve higher grades and get into their dream schools.Do colleges care about middle school awards? ›
The short answer is no, you should not. Pre-high school accomplishments are really not relevant to the college admissions process. Admissions officers are focusing on what you did in 9th through 12th grade. In general, they do not care to see what you did before you started high school.Do grades in 8th grade matter? ›
Students need very high grades in middle school to improve the likelihood of earning high grades in high school. In fact, only those students who leave eighth grade with GPAs of at least 3.0 have even a moderate chance of earning a 3.0 GPA in high school, the threshold for being considered college-bound.Does Harvard look at middle school grades? ›
Will C's in middle school hurt my chances of getting into Harvard? Colleges don't look at middle school grades. Just work hard to bring your grades up in high school, and take the most advanced classes available to you.What grade do universities look at? ›
Most universities will use your overall Grade 12 U/M grades in calculating your admission average. Often this will include your best six 4 U/M courses or equivalent.Do middle school grades count towards GPA? ›
Since middle school grades only count toward your high school GPA if you take high school classes, you can think of this as a transitional period for your child to get used to how high school will be and to learn how to do their best.What's a normal GPA for a 7th grader? ›
But obviously: Aim for a 3.75 or higher. But 3.0 is the bear minimum.Does your middle school grades matter? ›
Do Colleges Look At Middle School Grades? Many students take what they learned during their middle school years with them for the rest of their lives. One thing they don't take with them to college is their grades. Even the most highly-competitive colleges do not look at middle school grades.
Your child's seventh-grade year is packed with information that will influence the rest of their high school career. It includes important concepts that teach them independence in their academics, as well as the foundational items for language arts and math.Is 8th grade an important year? ›
8th grade is so important because students at that grade are learning more about themselves. It's the grade at which a child gains or loses confidence and motivation. Students who find success in 8th are more likely to experience more success in later grades.What grades does Harvard look at? ›
What GPA do I need to get into Harvard? To be considered for admission to Harvard, you must earn top grades in high school. The Harvard Crimson reports that the average reported GPA of entering freshmen in the class of 2022 was 3.90 on a 4.0 unweighted scale.What GPA do you need to get into Harvard? ›
It is tough to get into Harvard. The university receives applications from more qualified applicants than they can accept, and most applicants have at least a 4.18GPA. Meeting GPA and SAT/ACT requirements (although these are now optional) will help you get through the first round of filters.Do colleges look at all your grades? ›
Colleges see any and all grades and information reported on your official transcript (again—you should request a copy!), but they care most about and evaluate your final grades in core academic courses.Are B's good in middle school? ›
B - is still a pretty good grade! This is an above-average score, between 80% and 89% C - this is a grade that rests right in the middle.How do you get straight A's in 8th grade? ›
- Study smart, not hard. ...
- Pay more attention in class. ...
- Organize your life: create a study schedule. ...
- Ask the teacher for help if something is not clear. ...
- Sleep well. ...
- Exercise and eat well to improve your brain focus. ...
- Be active in class. ...
- Join extracurricular activities.
Should you also talk about any suspension in middle school? There is no need to do so. In fact, colleges do not care about your grades, conduct, and other academic and behavioral matters before you set foot in high school.Does Stanford look at middle school grades? ›
Your middle school grades will not be part of your college application. No college, even a highly-competitive one, is going to be looking at what grades you got in middle school. There are several reasons for this.What can I do in 8th grade to get into Harvard? ›
Enroll in Honors Math, Honors English, and Honors Science (If possible Biology or Chemistry). If possible take an AP level course in an additional science or artistic pursuit.
Nationwide, these are the three top schools with the most graduates who registered at Harvard, Princeton or MIT from 2015-18: Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia: 96; Stuyvesant High School in New York City: 94; and Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire: 87.Do colleges care if you skipped a grade? ›
No it will not hurt your transcript as long as you passed those classes and if anything it should actually help it because it shows the college you apply to that you like to get things done and take advantage of what is provided.What is the minimum grade to get into university? ›
Most universities will look for an 4/5 at GCSE (A*-C under the old grading system) in English, maths and possibly science. Specific courses may also ask for minimum grades in certain relevant GCSE subjects, while competitive courses will look for strong GCSE results as an indicator of your academic ability.What marks do universities look at Canada? ›
Many universities will calculate your admission average based on your cumulative Grade 12 U/M results. Usually, this will include the top six 4 U/M courses or similar. When your Grade 12 U/M grades are incomplete or unavailable, universities can consider your Grade 11 U/M grades for early entry offers.What is the highest GPA ever? ›
A GPA higher than 5.0 is rare, but school point systems are occasionally structured so that students taking advanced classes can rack up bonus points. One student even managed to land a stunning 10.03 GPA by taking 17 advanced classes at a school that awarded bonus points.What is the highest GPA in middle school? ›
Grade point averages are typically calculated on what is called a 4.0 scale, yet some schools may use a 5.0 weighted GPA or even an 11.0 scale. If your school uses a 4.0 scale, then your GPA will be between a 0.0 and a 4.0, with a 4.0 being the best.What are considered good grades in middle school? ›
|97 - 100||A+||4.0|
|83 - 86||B||3.0|
|80 - 82||B-||2.67|
|77 - 79||C+||2.33|
|73 - 76||C||2.0|
Scale 1 in Canada: GPA out of 4.0.
|Letter Grade||Percentage %||GPA Number|
Additionally, you may wonder, can you round up GPA on your resume? The short answer is yes, but only to one decimal place (e.g., 3.49 rounded up to 3.5).What is the average GPA of a Harvard student? ›
Average GPA: 4.18
The average GPA at Harvard is 4.18. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
A 3.9 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to an A- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale. This means is equivalent to a 90-92%. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 3.9 is far above average. A 3.9 is so high that it can be hard to raise it any higher!What is a 4.0 GPA in middle school? ›
Essentially, the highest GPA you can earn is a 4.0, which indicates an A average in all of your classes. A 3.0 would indicate a B average, a 2.0 a C average, a 1.0 a D, and a 0.0 an F. This scale does not take the levels of your courses into account.Is a 2.0 GPA good in middle school? ›
Is a 2.0 GPA good? The answer is No. The national average for a GPA is around 3.0 and a 2.0 GPA puts you below that average.What should a 8th grader know by the end of the year? ›
By the end of 8th grade, kids should be able to:
Be comfortable discussing plot, theme, and characters in fiction. Analyze arguments in nonfiction texts to determine if they are logical, relevant, and supported with sufficient evidence. Be able to identify evidence and make inferences from the evidence presented.
What needs to be kept in mind to avoid stress? The students should study a maximum of 10 hours a day and a minimum of 7 hours of study is enough for them to pass.Why is seventh grade so hard? ›
Seventh grade is the most trying year for kids, the one that tests them—and their mothers—the most. Seventh grade marks the onset of puberty for many kids. Puberty means hormones which confuse and exacerbate already difficult social situations.How can I survive 8th grade socially? ›
Pay attention during class.
- Ignore people who try to distract you. ...
- Avoid talking during class. ...
- Try to pay attention even though people around you are talking.
Honor Their Graduation
The significance of "leaving middle school in one piece" is a really big deal, Warner says. If parents want to spend some quality time recognizing their child's accomplishment, she suggests planning a lunch or dinner and inviting siblings and extended family members.
Out of all the Ivy League schools, Cornell has the highest admissions rate: 8.7%. For reference, you should be aware that 84.2% of Cornell matriculants were in the top 10% of their graduating class and 96.4% of Cornell matriculants were in the top 25% of their graduating class.
Ivy League universities (and most universities, for that matter) consider student accomplishments from the ninth to 12th grades. So typically, achievements in say the 7th or 8th grade don't matter all that much. However, successful Ivy League applicants boast impressive school records right from the start.
1. Harvard University — 3.19% With a record-low admission rate of just 3.19% for the class of 2026, Harvard currently ranks as the most difficult school to get into. This rate reflects admission into Harvard College, the Ivy League university's undergraduate school.What is the toughest college to get into? ›
The rankings are based on acceptance rates and SAT/ACT test scores. Harvard ranked as the toughest school in the country to get into. It has a 5% acceptance rate, according to Niche. Stanford came in second on the list— with an acceptance rate of 5% as well.What college requires the highest GPA? ›
- Harvard University. 3.64.
- Yale University. 3.62.
- Columbia University. 3.59.
- Vanderbilt University. 3.57.
- Duke University. 3.56.
- Baylor University. 3.56.
- Northeastern University. 3.55.
- Dartmouth College.
In truth, you need close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA to get into Yale. That means nearly straight As in every class.Do colleges care about middle school grades? ›
No, colleges will not look at your grades from middle school. Colleges focus on your grades from high school, which will be shown on your high school transcript. I hope this answers your question! Your counselors probably know more, but generally middle school grades don't impact your college application.Does Harvard look at middle school records? ›
Absolutely not. Unless you've done something noteworthy like get kicked out of school, colleges will only really focus on your high school transcript and accomplishments.Do colleges look at middle school referrals? ›
Typically, middle school records do not affect your chance of getting into a good college. High school records are much more important, and you can expect colleges to look into them instead.› What-type-of-grades-do-you-ne... ›
What type of grades do you need to get into Harvard? Is it true that at ...
What About Your Grades?
While colleges don't look at middle school grades, good grades help students get into advanced placement classes in high school. Colleges will look at those!Do middle school grades count towards GPA? ›
Since middle school grades only count toward your high school GPA if you take high school classes, you can think of this as a transitional period for your child to get used to how high school will be and to learn how to do their best.
Your middle school grades will not be part of your college application. No college, even a highly-competitive one, is going to be looking at what grades you got in middle school. There are several reasons for this.What grades count for college? ›
12th grades. These are the grades which will be evaluated. If you're applying in an early admission round, your admission officer will see the first quarter of 12th grade; if you're applying in regular decision, your admission officer will see grades for the entire first semester of senior year.What grade do colleges care about the most? ›
The grades that typically matter most are those from your core academic courses. Sometimes, colleges may ignore the grades from your elective courses. Your GPA may muddle the results a bit too. A 4.0 GPA is excellent, but many colleges recalculate your GPA according to their own metrics.What grades does Harvard look at? ›
What GPA do I need to get into Harvard? To be considered for admission to Harvard, you must earn top grades in high school. The Harvard Crimson reports that the average reported GPA of entering freshmen in the class of 2022 was 3.90 on a 4.0 unweighted scale.What's a normal GPA for a 7th grader? ›
But obviously: Aim for a 3.75 or higher. But 3.0 is the bear minimum.Is 8th grade an important year? ›
8th grade is so important because students at that grade are learning more about themselves. It's the grade at which a child gains or loses confidence and motivation. Students who find success in 8th are more likely to experience more success in later grades.Are B's good in middle school? ›
B - is still a pretty good grade! This is an above-average score, between 80% and 89% C - this is a grade that rests right in the middle.What is the highest GPA ever? ›
A GPA higher than 5.0 is rare, but school point systems are occasionally structured so that students taking advanced classes can rack up bonus points. One student even managed to land a stunning 10.03 GPA by taking 17 advanced classes at a school that awarded bonus points.What is the lowest GPA Stanford will accept? ›
There is no minimum GPA or test score, nor is there any specific number of AP or honors courses you must have on your transcript in order to have your application reviewed or be admitted to Stanford.What GPA is required for Yale? ›
In truth, you need close to a 4.0 unweighted GPA to get into Yale. That means nearly straight As in every class.
No! However, they do look at your grades from all four years of high school, junior and senior year being the most important.What grades do universities look at in Canada? ›
UBC considers your grades in all Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) classes, paying special attention to courses that relate to the degree you're applying to. Specifically: We look at your grades in all academic courses.Do colleges care if you skipped a grade? ›
No it will not hurt your transcript as long as you passed those classes and if anything it should actually help it because it shows the college you apply to that you like to get things done and take advantage of what is provided.Do colleges look at your grades after they accept you? ›
Regular Decision Applicants and Admitted Students
Though admissions boards mainly refer to first semester senior year grades while reading your application, colleges and universities also can request second semester grades. You might not even know a school has requested additional information from your school.