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Your school will need to provide a transcript of your academic record from Year 10 to the present. This is not something that is customary in the UK and most schools will have to create this document from scratch. Make sure you explain the situation to your teachers in good time and show them the explanation below for the sake of clarification.

What is a Transcript?

A US transcript typically consists of a list of grades that high school students have received in every class in which they have ever been enrolled.

The following notes are based on suggestions from US university admissions officers and administrators. Use it as a guide only – read the application information or contact the admissions office for each individual university to learn about specific requirements. 

A special note to teachers and careers advisers

US universities are less interested in students’ final exam results than in the subjects they have taken over the last four years and how their performance has changed over time.

A US transcript lists courses taken by semester with the grades for each course. (US schools divide the school year into two semesters, as opposed to the UK three-term system.) If possible, admissions officers appreciate a similar document from UK schools for the sake of comparison.

For many schools, this will be a tedious exercise involving trawling through dusty student records. Please do your very best – it makes a real difference to your student’s chances, and US universities really do want a clear picture of how a student has done in every term in every subject over the last four years.

No Grades?

If your school does not give grades on a term basis, any type of evaluatory mark is acceptable. Include a note explaining the grading system used.

An example of this might be: ‘Each mark reflects an individual instructor's assessment of the student's coursework, including homework, tests, class participation and final examinations. Each grade is on a scale of A to F, where A is excellent, C is satisfactory, and F is failing.’

After the internal marks, set out the examination results obtained over that period – and not just the main ones: CLAIT, RSA too.

Then list the other, non-examined courses pursued – Enrichment, General Studies or whatever. Don’t leave anything out.

These documents should be on official school letterhead, with a school stamp of certification if possible. 

A special note to applicants

If you have certified copies of your qualifications (GCSEs, etc.), enclose them with your application. If you do not, you need to obtain copies from each of the examining boards in plenty of time.

Also bear in mind you should get a transcript from all secondary schools or sixth form colleges you have attended.

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