We know that spring is the time when many homeschool families work on transcripts. To help out, we’re offering a 30% discount  on all Transcript Maker plans using the code HOME2020.

This is the fourth part of our 6-part series on the basics of homeschool transcripts. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Now that you’ve got the basic building blocks of your homeschool transcript down, it’s time to think about standardized tests and extracurricular activities.

These are two often-overlooked aspects of a great homeschool transcript, but they’re essential. In today’s blog post, we’ll provide the best tips and tricks for presenting standardized test results and extracurricular activities in a way that will help your student stand out.

Standardized tests

You’ve probably heard this piece of advice a lot: A student’s SAT and ACT scores are among the most important elements of whether he or she will get into a good college. It’s so important, in fact, that we devote months and months of preparation for the big test day.

After all that work by your student, don’t fall short near the finish line by screwing up the way these test results look on a transcript!

The great news is that formatting is super simple. Whether your student is taking the SAT or ACT—or wanting to present another standardized test like the Iowa Test of Basic Skills—the right structure is the same: Exam name, score, and date. Here is an example:

  • SAT — 1350 — August, 2019
  • ACT— ENG 27, MAT 20, READ 28, SCI 27, COMP 26 — January, 2019
  • IOWA Basic Core — Total 98, COMP 97 — July, 2019

Read more: When to take the SAT or ACT, A beginner’s guide to mastering the SAT and ACT, and Do SAT and ACT scores really matter?

Extracurricular activities

Colleges love well-rounded students with diverse backgrounds, and extracurricular activities are one of the best ways to demonstrate this type of versatility. 

Extracurricular activities are pursuits outside of school that contribute to a balanced life. Common examples include: 

  • Community service
  • A part-time job
  • Charity volunteer work
  • Sports Clubs
  • Writing for a newspaper
  • Music
  • Performing arts

It can be tempting to line a high school transcript with loads of fun and interesting activities, but it’s important to be selective. Not everything needs to go on the transcript. In fact, think about the college you’re applying to when selecting extracurricular activities. 

Here are some examples:

  • “Straight A” student during junior year
  • Served as a volunteer at the Oak Street Library
  • Won third place in a 2019 state science fair
  • Started a successful small business at age 16

Read more: Adding extracurricular activities to your homeschool transcript

A final word: Use tests and extracurricular activities to shine

Remember that these two additions to your transcript are a great way to differentiate your student. It starts with strong standardized test scores, but colleges want to see those unique extracurricular activities as well. Putting in some thought beforehand will go a long way toward helping you master them both on your student’s transcript.

What’s next: How to make your transcript look pretty