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How To Get Ready For College

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Start To Research Colleges Youre Interested In


Junior year is an ideal time to start researching some of the colleges youre interested in attending or that have grabbed your attention.

There are many ways you can get to know more about specific colleges:

  • Read the official college website to see things such as what majors it offers, where its located, how many students it has, etc.
  • Go to college fairs
  • Visit college campuses directly to get a feel for the campus, students, and overall atmosphere
  • Talk with former or current students about their experiences there

In addition, take care to openly communicate with your parents at this time. These are the people paying for your education, so its important that you involve them at least somewhat in the decision-making process so that they have an idea of which schools youre considering and what kind of aid they typically offer.

Also, remember to look for safety schools.

Discuss The Personal And Social Responsibilities Of Going To College

For many students going away to college may be their first time away from home, so its important to discuss the social and personal implications they may face.

Open a dialogue about underage drinking. According to recent studies, more than half of college freshman will face an opportunity to drink within their first week of college. And over 159,000 first-year students are forced to leave school every year for alcohol or drug related reasons. Have a frank discussion with your child about the implications to their success if they participate in it.

In addition, an important aspect to cover will be how your child budgets their expenses. Decide if your teen will be using a credit or debit card, what their limit should be, and provide ways for them to budget how they spend what theyre allotted.

There Are So Many Choices Of Classes How Do I Choose Between Them

Develop your academic interest. Especially during your junior and senior years of high school, you can often choose courses that will prepare you for the college degree program of your choice. For example, if you are considering nursing school, it can be helpful to take classes such as Anatomy, Physiology or Statistics in high school.

Thinking about an engineering degree? Load up on math and science courses. You dont have to know exactly what major you will choose but taking classes in your main area of academic interest will best prepare you to build upon that knowledge in college.

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How To Prepare For College: Overview

In this guide, we go over how to get ready for college in every grade, from 9th through 12th and even the summer before college. We give you detailed steps to take in areas such as academics, extracurricular activities, financial aid, standardized tests, and college applications.

If youd like to jump ahead to a specific grade level, feel free to use this table of contents:

We also offer a printable preparing-for-college checklist, which you can download by clicking the PDF thumbnail below:

Sharpen Your Skills With Mock Interviews

How to Prepare for College: Things You Absolutely Must Do ...

You can only get so far by formulating answers and planning out how youll respond. The next step is to begin practicing. Set up a trial run with a counselor, parent or mentor who will serve as the interviewer and ask you questions. Once youve gone through a few rounds, take your mock interview to the next level with a mock interview service.

Unlike a run-of-the-mill mock interview, an InterviewFocus interview provides you with a detailed evaluation of six soft skills and personalized improvement recommendations. The proprietary software reports your eye contact, use of filler words like uh and um and examines facial expressions. By knowing your weak spots, youll be able to improve in the areas where it counts.

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Get Ready For College During A Pandemic

Are you ready to start your college career off in the right direction? Getting off to a good start will be the easiest way to have a GPA that you want!

But not everyone is able to get off to a fast start which creates a tougher battle ahead. If you can prepare for the start of the semester, BEFORE it actually starts then you will be well on your way to crushing your first semester in college!


  • Connecting With Others
  • Master Scheduling and Time Management
  • Start Thinking About Possible Majors And Colleges

    Yes, its still early when it comes to college, but your sophomore year is a great time to start playing around with ideas of what you might want to study in collegeand possibly do as a career.

    Some teenagers know right away what kind of career they want to have, while others have some interests here and there but dont know what they want to do with these in college and as an adult.

    You can get started by thinking about your biggest passions in life and what you generally enjoy doing, both in and outside of school. For example, maybe youre passionate about music and have always envisioned yourself playing the violin in an orchestra. In this case, a music major at a more artistically inclined school could be an amazing fit for you.

    It might also help to look at our comprehensive list of college majors, just to give you some ideas as to what majors are out there.

    In terms of colleges, you dont need to have a final list or anything yetsimply get a feel for what kinds of colleges are out there, including whats available in and around your area . You can use college search websites and reputable ranking lists to see what certain schools are famous for.

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    Work On Your Social Skills

    Nobody is asking you to become an overnight extrovert, but if you tend to lean more towards wallflower than social butterfly, you should practice branching out. Communication is the glue that holds everything together. That wont change throughout life. Your relationships with your fellow students, professors, and others all depend upon a connection.

    To improve your social abilities, start raising your hand more often in class. Ask and answer questions and stop worrying about what others think of you. If you want and need something, you will need to speak up. Remember the old saying: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Start The College Search

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    There are a lot of choices out there! Do you want a big school or small? Will you want to travel abroad? Read as much as you can about different schools. Use online college finders, search top-college lists and check your library for college guidebooks. Make two lists one of schools that interest you and the other with attributes that are most important to you in a college or university and discuss them with your parents and school counselor.

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    Be Mindful Of Body Language

    Your nonverbal communication speaks volumes! You can make simple adjustments to your body language to come across as self-assured and engaged.

    Pull your shoulders back and sit up straight while youre in the interview. Remember to smile at times as you speak and listen to the interview. Believe it or not, a smile is a powerful interview tool, so be sure to flash a grin when appropriate. Avoid hunching over, crossing your arms or fidgeting in your chair.

    Implement the feedback from your practice interviews to correct your body language. Even small tweaks in posture can help you convey poise and confidence.

    Maximize Your Success In College

    To get off to a good start make sure you connect with others, learn how to learn virtually, and master scheduling and time management. By working on these three areas before your classes start, or during your first couple of weeks, you will be able to get off to the critical fast start you need to do well in your college career!

    There is one last things I would like you to do! Get your free PDF guide to Achieve College Success During A Pandemic !

    References used:

    Connecting with others quote:

    Connecting in college: How friendship networks matter for academic and social success

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    Keep Up Your Grades And A Rigorous Course Load

    By 10th grade, if you havent already, you should really start to think about taking some AP and honors classes , especially if you plan to apply to the most competitive colleges.

    Meet with your counselor to determine which upper-level classes you are eligible for and most likely to do well in based on your individual interests and skills.

    When it comes to your electives, try to take classes in topics that not only appeal to you but also challenge you .

    As you should do every year in high school, continue to work hard to keep up your grades. If youre struggling at all with a certain class, talk to your teacher and parents about possibly seeking extra help, such as a tutor.

    Visit College Campuses For Those That You Are Interested In

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    Websites are great ways to learn information, but nothing can compare to actually visiting a campus and meeting with people. Most colleges can make arrangements with you for visits throughout the year, but they probably also have specific dates set aside for day on campus types of events. These are typically a great chance to pack a lot into one day on campus and will be better information than just roaming around campus on your own. These are usually events that you must register for, so check out a colleges website for information.

    We have a day on campus event that we will be attending soon with both of my sons. While it is a college that they are familiar with, the day on campus will include an information meeting with the admissions department, a guided campus tour, lunch in a dining hall, a tour of a residence hall, and an afternoon where there are designated times to go to informational meetings with various schools and majors within the university.

    When to Do This: Typically starting the summer before your junior year

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    Counselling And Accessibility Services/student Employment Services

    Accessibility Services

    If you have a diagnosed disability, you may be eligible for academic accommodations such as exam accommodations, ASL interpreting, computerized note-taking, note-taking assistance or assistive technology.

    Counselling Services

    Personal wellbeing is critical to academic success and RRC Polytech has professionally trained counsellors to provide you with confidential counselling for personal/relational challenges, managing mental wellness, and to receive support through times of crisis.

    Student Employment Services

    Student Employment Services provides a full range of employment services and supports targeted at students, recent graduates and employers. Were committed to ensuring Red River College Polytechnic students are provided with the employment supports they require to be able to build a career, enhance their quality of life, and contribute to both economic and social prosperity.

    Be Careful On Social Media

    Im not going to say a lot about this, but be sensible online and with social media. Dont ever post, share, or even like things that you wouldnt want the college admissions director from your dream college to see. Even if your social media accounts are private, treat them like anyone could see them. Youll thank yourself later.

    When to Do This: Always

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    Complete And Submit Your Fafsa

    The FAFSA is released on October 1 every year, so try to complete and submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after this date as well as any other financial aid applications your schools might require. Most colleges will require you to turn in your FAFSA by February, so getting started on this sooner rather than later should help make the application process go a lot more smoothly.

    Make sure to have your parents with you when you fill out your FAFSA as youll have to report your parents federal income tax returns and other essential information.

    Practice Writing Those Essays

    Easy Ways To Get Ready For School Faster!!

    Most college scholarship opportunities have essays and forms attached to them, so you might want to start honing your written communication skills now while you have plenty of time. Many students dont pursue scholarships that require an essay. Dont be that personessay scholarships tend to have less competition. Start practicing your essay-writing skills now while you have time and have easy access to teachers who are willing to help.

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    Check Your Class Rank And Gpa

    Dont wait until the final grading period of second semester to know your class rank and GPA. Many colleges look at your predicted class rank and GPA when you first apply, knowing full well that these rankings change upon graduation. If you buckle down now, your GPA will help you score everything from scholarships to internships opportunities. Ask a guidance counselor if you need help.

    Begin Searching For Scholarships

    While it might seem early to apply for college scholarships, its actually not, as many have deadlines between your junior and senior years. The US Department of Education offers a scholarship search tool you can use for free to get started on looking up potential scholarships.

    We also maintain a comprehensive list of scholarships you can apply for as a junior. Some of these might require more documents and effort from you than others, such as transcripts and letters, so give yourself plenty of time to research and apply for them.

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    Prepare For The Psat Sat And/or Act

    Whether you are intending to take the SAT or the ACT, the PSAT is a good early indicator of how you might do and you should plan to not only take it, but to also study for it before taking it. Students typically take the PSAT their junior year. At the high school my sons attend, they take the PSAT during the school day and every sophomore and junior takes it.

    During your junior and senior year, you should be studying for and taking your SAT or ACT or both. Also, make sure to give yourself enough time to retake them to try to improve your scores. Before taking your tests, youll want to verify which of those tests your desired colleges accept. There will be no need to take one of those if none of the colleges you are interested in acceptance scores.

    Both the ACT and SAT have excellent preparation materials. They both also have a ton of information on their sites with tips, as well as vital information for getting ready, like what to bring and what not to bring, etc. Be well prepared before you take these tests.

    Keep An Extracurricular Record

    Children boy and girl getting ready for school Vector Image

    Keep a record of your extracurricular activities. You can be asked about them in a few different ways on college applications. Your high school will keep track of your classes, grades, and credits. It is up to you to keep track of everything else.

    In order to be prepared for college applications, create a document that records your involvement in sports, clubs, volunteer work, community service, and part-time employment, etc. and keep it in one place. Begin with the summer after eighth grade and continue through your senior year. Keep track of the time you spent on each activity and look for trends that highlight your involvement in meaningful activities. Dont forget to document all awards, honors, and leadership positions. This list will be extremely helpfulnot only when you are applying to colleges, but also for scholarship applications or building a resume. If you wait until your senior year, it is really difficult to remember everything you accomplished. As the Chinese proverb states, Your memory is only as good as the paper you write it on.

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    How To Prepare For College: Things You Absolutely Must Do In High School To Get Ready

    October 25, 2017 By Angie Kauffman · Disclosure: This Post May Contain Affiliate Links., powered by Discover Student Loans, provides students and parents with great tips and tools and getting into, paying for and adjusting to college.

    It seems like it was just the other day that my living room floor was filled with wooden train tracks and little boys having adventures. But now instead of talking about the misadventures of cheeky little train engines, Im discussing how to prepare for college, campus visits, cap and gown rentals, and SAT scores with those same boys. While we still have one daughter in middle school, our sons are in high school. In fact, this is junior year for one of them and senior year for the other.

    We are deep in the midst of working on things that need to be done in high school to get ready for college. Its a marathon, not a sprint. There are definitely things that you should be doing throughout high school to get ready for college.

    How Do I Prepare For College Academically

    Many high schools offer Advanced Placement classes, and some offer International Baccalaureate courses or Dual Enrollment opportunities, which have the added benefit of allowing you to earn college credit. Dual credit for IB and AP courses is based on taking the corresponding IB Higher Level test or AP exam at the end of the course. The required score to earn dual credit will vary from college to college. Depending on your score and your intended major, the awarded college credit may allow you to waive a class, start in the next course level, or fulfill elective credits.

    Some high schools will add weight to your Grade Point Average for advanced classes such as AP or Honors, so taking these classes can boost your GPA. Another advantage to taking AP, IB, Dual Enrollment, or Honors level courses is that the class is listed as such on your high school transcript and colleges will know that you chose to challenge yourself academically. This motivation shows a college board that you are better prepared for the college classroom.

    One word of caution: These kinds of classes are difficult. Know yourself! Dont take a class if you are not prepared to do reasonably well with hard work and effort. It is especially important to take Dual Enrollment classes seriously, as these college credits and good grades will be a part of your college transcript.

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