Thinking about college can be overwhelming. You need to consider how to make yourself wanted by a college, prepare effectively for standardized tests, and develop a plan to determine where to apply and how to pay for the college you choose to attend.
You might still be in middle school or just starting high school, but NOW is the time to begin putting things in place to prepare for college. The earlier you develop a plan of which classes you will take in high school, the better your chances that you will create a transcript that will impress a future college admissions director. Even if you have had some hiccups in your educational career, decide to change for the better today to make your academic transcript a better picture of your academic ability.
As colleges enroll more and more students, the competition to be accepted increases. Now is the time to prepare for where life after high school graduation will take you. Even if you are near the end of your high school career, there is still time to improve yourself and make yourself as academically ready and scholarship ready as you can be.
Here are 10 ways to prepare yourself to shine in college admissions and scholarship competitions.
- Get Involved - Consider all the things you are interested in. Pick a couple areas to focus in and get involved. Whether your interests be in service projects, student government, athletics, music, art, or some other hobby or activity, choose a couple to focus on and strengthen your skills in those areas. You will be come a sought after recipient of financial scholarships and a more appealing candidate to college admissions personnel.
- Develop Strong Study Skills - Don't wait for college to buckle down and learn how to learn the best for yourself. Determine your learning style - auditory, visual, or tactile. Develop strategies for reading, listening, and learning new material.
- Take challenging classes - Just because you can get a diploma taking easier courses, doesn't mean that you will be prepared for college course work. Take challenging classes now so you do not have to take remedial, non-credit bearing courses to get into courses that will help you graduate from college. College admissions look at the level of difficulty in your courses to see if you can succeed at their school. If your school offers AP courses or dual enrollment courses, attempt ones that interest you.
- Get Help - Struggling with the courses you are taking? Talk to the teacher to get help and find out if there is a peer in class that could help you understand material better. Talk to a counselor and see if there are other resources to help you at your school.
- Read - Read at least 30 minutes each day about things that are beyond your textbooks and course work. Read magazines, newspapers, novels, or non-fiction books about areas of interest to you. The more you read, the more you know! When it comes times to take standardized tests like the PSAT/NMSQT, ACT or SAT, the more you know the better you will score.
- Take standardized tests early and often - The PSAT/NMSQT can be taken by freshman and sophomores as you prepare for when it really counts for scholarships as a junior. The ACT and SAT can also be taken early in high school so that you can get comfortable with the test, learn how to do your best, and take challenging coursework to do better on the test the next time.
- Get facts about colleges - Talk to your teachers, counselors, and parents about what steps are necessary to get into college. Ask questions of recently graduated peers who are in college now. Search online to increase what you know about colleges.
- Involve your family - Even if your parents or guardians haven't been to college, they can help you navigate the many steps to college acceptance and keep you focused on your goals.
- Look for a mentor - Look for other adults who share enthusiasm for helping you succeed. These may include counselors, teachers, or adults from hobbies and activities you are involved in. Talk with them and share your hopes and dreams with them and see if they can help you reach your goals. Does your mentor do the job you hope to have? Ask to be their intern for a couple of months and learn about their career from experiencing it first hand.
- Confront personal roadblocks - Is there something that is holding you back from success in your academics, hobbies, or activities? Talk to your friends, family, and trusted adults to help direct you through troublesome times.
Based off of https://www.scholarships.com/resources/college-prep/preparing-for-college/10-ways-to-jumpstart-college-planning/