Good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad so I can end with the good.
If your child attends one of the stronger schools in the area – Guilford High School, Daniel Hand in Madison, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme, among others that come to mind – I regret to report that I meet with an abundance of students from various Connecticut high schools that have an average above 90, on the 1-100 scale, or if letter grades are given, somewhere in the A- range or if on a 4.0 school, somewhere above 3.5. This is bad news because students who have As from East Lyme High School are usually much stronger than students from other schools – even neighboring ones (sorry Montville) who have As. So, if you are a student from East Lyme High School with a 3.9 GPA, you are no better in the college admissions game than a student from Montville High School. And, while Montville is a fine school with students who are stronger than the national average, East Lyme is packed with brilliant students. Nonetheless, someone who is ranked in the top 10% of East Lyme is not better off than someone in the top 10 at Montville.
Now the good news.. The good news: in most cases, students who get the “real As” at competitive Connecticut high schools do very well on national tests. Hard to believe – I know – but the SATs and ACTs end up being more fair than grades in such cases. If you attend any of the top schools in our area, prepare vigorously and expect good things.