The transcript is the foundation of any application to Penn. It reflects three to three and a half years of hard work in your high school, and gives an indication of how you might perform academically at Penn. Both the rigor of your coursework and your performance in class is important. Taking challenging courses when they are available to you, as well as performing well in your courses, is a key part of preparing yourself for the rigor of a Penn education.
Letters of recommendation from teachers who know you well can also demonstrate your knowledge of a subject, and any skills and perspectives that you bring to the classroom.
Participation in an academically-oriented extracurricular activity can illustrate your depth in or exploration of a particular subject area.
Essays can also demonstrate your academic abilities, such as how you write and view the world around you. One of Penn’s supplemental essays asks how you have discovered your academic interests, and how you will pursue them at Penn. This prompt provides another opportunity to discuss both your intellectual curiosity and past academic experiences.
The examples above are not meant to be prescriptive, nor we do not expect every part of a student’s application to focus on academics. These illustrate that there are many ways admissions officers can discover more about your academic preparation and intellectual curiosity beyond a standardized test score.