The college admissions process is all about finding the best college for your needs. And finding the best college requires planning. But how early do you need to start planning?
The process of college admissions begins when a student enters high school. Planning what classes to take during your four years in high school can have a huge impact on what colleges are good matches for you. The most competitive colleges like to see students with four years of the five core subjects: English, math, science, social studies and a single foreign language. The closer you get to this ideal, the more options you will have when you start searching for colleges.
Those classes you take also need to be getting progressively more difficult each year leading to AP or IB classes if they are available in your school. Taking easy classes throughout high school will not impress college admissions officers.
However, taking the right classes alone won’t be enough. You need to do well in those classes. Working hard and getting good grades is as critical as the classes you take. Prospective students to selective colleges often ask whether it is more important to get a “B” in an AP class or get an “A” in an easier class. The answer always is it is best to get an “A” in the AP class. Keep that in mind when thinking about whether you need to study for that next test.
Next post: Early planning for standardized testing.
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