How do colleges know that you have taken the most rigorous course of study?

Anonymous
I have taken the most difficult classes in my high school even since my freshman year, but was not able to take a single AP class until my junior year because it was not offered - only Honors classes were, which I took. ( This does not include math. I finished AP Calc BC in 10th grade). I'm concerned that selective undergrad colleges (Wharton, Stanford Business, Harvard Business, etc.) will look down on this because I only took AP's in my junior and senior year, but not in my first 2 years of HS. Is there a way for them to know that I was NOT ABLE to, which is why I didn't? Or does a Guidance Counselor give an assessment of how rigorous my coursework was throughout HS?
How do colleges know that you have taken the most rigorous course of study?
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