It may seem like it’s too early to worry about getting into college; it is four years away. But, let us give you some important advice. The ninth grade of high school is not too early to start preparing for college. Both your ninth grade academic and extracurricular records will be part of your college application.
Here are some suggestions for college-bound ninth graders to do to positon themselves for college.
• Take challenging courses now and later. Taking them now puts you on track for AP classes and upper-level classes later on.
• Take a foreign language or continue the foreign language you began in middle school.
• Get good grades. Yes, bad grades in your ninth grade year can hurt you.
• Get academic help from peer tutors, teachers, or professional tutors. If you are having trouble, now is the time to get up to speed so your troubles won’t snowball as you move along to more difficult classes.
• Begin to focus on two of your favorite extracurricular activities. In this way you will get more conversant with your interests and put yourself in line for a leadership role.
• Use your summer for travel, volunteering, sports camps, seminars, or work.
• Visit colleges. Start now so you can see a variety of colleges throughout high school. You will also get practiced taking tours so you will know what to look for.
• Think about your SAT II Subject Tests. Usually it is too early to think about subjects test, but you may take a specialized history class or biology. It is always best to take these tests when the material is fresh, not a year or two later. If you do well, one test down. If you don’t get the score you want, you still have plenty of time to take a Subject Test in another area of study.
The ninth grade may be only your first year in high school, but it is the first step to your college career and to your life.