College Prep Tips For Teens

College Prep Tips For Teens

Choose Your Classes Wisely

Colleges typically require a certain number of hours in core classes such as 3-4 years of math, 4 years of English, 3 years of social studies, and 3 years of science.  Selective colleges may expect to see 4 years of each subject with a focus on advanced classes such as Honors, AP, AICE and IB. Make sure to include these classes in your schedule during each term of high school.  

Maintain Your Grades

Great grades (in rigorous classes) may be the most important part of your college application! High school grades are often used to determine the "potential" of a student's success at the college level.  Choose challenging classes and work hard to maintain A's and B's.    

Take a Foreign Language

Most colleges require applicants to have at least 2 years of the same high school foreign language. Many selective colleges prefer 3-4 years of foreign language - some recommend that you choose the same language. Plan ahead...don't wait until the last minute to start your foreign language classes.  

Get to Know Your School Counselor

Your School Counselor can provide tips to help you to select the right classes to meet graduation requirements and to prepare you for the college admissions process. The average public school counselor may be assigned to hundreds of students within the school, so it's important that you schedule an appointment to discuss your college prep plans. 


Improve Your Vocabulary

Reading can improve your vocabulary.  The ACT and SAT require students to be familiar with college-level vocabulary and college courses require extensive reading and writing.  Make an effort to read more often (summer reading assignments are important).  

Get Involved in Your School and Community

Extracurricular Activities are fun and  can help you to meet new people and to learn new skills, so join a team or club.  Earn community service hours by volunteering to help others in your community.