Success in College Guide: Step 3 of 9
Prepare academically for college
It's not too early for college preparation. If you're in high school, enroll in the right classes, practice good study habits, and work on your writing skills.
Take the right classes during high school
What are the right classes in high school? The courses required for college vary. Contact your guidance counselor to learn more, and check out these sites:
- ACT, Inc. recommendations (www.actstudent.org/college/plancourses.html)
- The College Board (SAT) recommendations (www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/high-school/33.html)
- U.S. Department of Education recommendations (www2.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt2.html)
Colleges want students with a well-rounded education. Take the more challenging classes so you can get a better idea of what college courses may be like.
Practice good study habits
You may not know if your study habits are up to par with college courses. Start now. Practice good study habits, so when you're in college, you'll already have some effective tools under your belt.
Tips to improve your study skills:
- Stay organized by making a "To Do" list. Stick to it.
- Set goals for yourself.
- Prioritize! A test tomorrow is more important than an assignment due next week.
- Take good notes, and then be sure to review them carefully later.
- Experiment a little. Where and when do you work best? Alone or in a group, bright or dim lighting, quiet or noisy? Then study that way!
Improve your writing skills
Effective writing conveys your thoughts into words. It's a skill you use throughout your life, and no matter what career you pursue, the ability to communicate in writing will help you succeed.
Quick tips for effective writing:
- Think about your audience. For example, you would use a different tone in an essay than you would in a note to a friend.
- Plan ahead. List important points in the order you wish to make them.
- Use a strong opening sentence to catch the reader's attention.
- Be clear and to the point. Edit out unnecessary words and information.
- Read through your writing for spelling errors and typos. Spell check programs don't catch everything!