Challenge Yourself Academically

If you are in high school and plan on going to college, you will need to study harder than your peers who are not planning on going to college. College is a privilege and not a right. You have to earn your way in. It’s true that colleges don’t just look at grades during the admission process, but not matter how good you are in other disciplines, if you don’t meet the basic academic prerequisites of colleges today, you don’t stand a chance of getting in.
Know the Basic Academic Prerequisites of Colleges
To find out what is expected of your transcript by college admission offices, visit your high school college and career office. They can help you figure out what the expected GPA and SAT scores are. They will also inform you of extra courses that are expected such as AP classes and whether you need a language.
Going Beyond the Basics
Delivering the basics in your transcript just isn’t going to cut it in today’s extremely competitive admissions process. You need to know the basics, deliver them, and then find ways to go beyond them academically. There are many opportunities for you to do so.
Summer School
Every kid looks forward to summer break, but if you want to make it into college, you cannot afford to waste months doing nothing. Since college admissions is so competitive and since you need to go beyond the basics, you might not have enough time during the regular school year to go above and beyond to stand out. Summer school can be a good opportunity to fit in those extra classes you need without being terribly stressed out and overworked during the normal school year. Being stressed and overworked usually don’t make for exceptional grades anyway. If you are stretched too thin, you’ll only be able to put in 80% effort and then you’ll be averaging less than stellar grades.
AP Classes
Find out the classes you need to take as an underclassman to qualify for AP classes. Then when the time comes, take them.
Junior College Classes
JR college classes can be a great place to get some college prerequisite courses out of the way before you even get there. It also helps you clearly state to the college admissions office that you are mature enough to handle college, because you got a taste of it already while still in high school.
Foreign Language
Pick one and take it all four years. Colleges love to see it. Don’t pick an easy one. If your family speaks Spanish at home, don’t take Spanish in school. This is not an example of challenging yourself academically. Instead go for Latin which will help you with your SAT score and possibly your future medical career if you so choose to go that path.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest