Sometimes it can seem as if there’s no time to focus on anything else while you’re in high school, let alone look into college. If you’re a junior or senior and you’re busy juggling assignments and deadlines and a part-time job on the side, who has time for that? It’s important, however, to make sure you set aside some time to prep for college and are ready for the future, so that when you’re graduating from Central Valley Christian School in Visalia, you can do so with total confidence. Statistics show that almost 1 in 3 high school graduates who took the ACT tests weren’t ready for entry-level college courses, and the majority of states as a whole are still quite unprepared. It’s important to make sure you avoid this so that no matter where you choose to go for college, you’re prepped and make a good first impression To help make this easier, here are some general guidelines we recommend you follow, no matter which stage of high school you’re in!
1. Take AP classes.
You’ve probably heard of AP classes, but here’s the quick rundown on why they’re pretty important. Sure, they’re advanced, and they help with college credit, but what’s the basic info? Advanced Placement is run by College Board (maker of the SAT) and allows you to take courses in high school to earn college credit and/or even qualify for advanced classes when in college. This basically lets you gain experience in college classes before you get there, and if you pass the AP exam, you’ll get college credits. (Scored from 1 to 5, anything over a 3 is a pass. And since AP classes often have extra weight, a B in an AP class can be better than an A in a regular course.)
You can, of course, take an AP exam without the AP class, but taking the AP class and passing will prove you can handle college-level work and make your application stand out. If you get a 5, for example, you’re more advanced than over 80% of other advanced students—think how that stands out! Not only will you get higher grades in college, you’ll also gain valuable skills you can use in higher education and beyond. And if you get the credit, it could be possible to graduate in less time, saving money in the long run! At Central Valley Christian High School, we offer several AP classes to give you that extra nudge to prepare for college classes. Contact our high school faculty to learn more about these opportunities!
2. Sign up for extracurricular activities.
Of course you want to have a life outside of school, but why not find something that you have a passion for? Extracurricular activities, which may or may not be sponsored by your school, help develop you as a person and stand out on your college application. With a wide range of activities, there’s something for everyone out there! These often include arts, athletics, clubs, and so forth. Admissions officers love hearing about these kinds of activities because it shows that you value your time. You’ll also learn leadership skills, develop hidden talents, and make a lasting impact. It also shows that you’re able to balance your work, school, and social life, which is a valuable skill when your workload increases in college.
To find an extracurricular activity, think about what you’re interested in and see which activities fit your interests. Find out if they’re available at your high school or in your local community, and if they’re not, consider starting one yourself. Are you really into movies? Instead of just going to the cinema every weekend, why not start a film aficionado group? Other options include ASB (Associated Student Body), participating in theatre, or maybe signing up for CVC’s athletics program!
3. Get counseling.
There’s no shame in getting advice from those who’ve already been there. Make use of your school’s counseling center resources. They’ll offer you valuable insight you may not know you need. If you need assistance with college applications or admissions, as well as advice on skills to develop, your counselor will be able to assist. Other areas they can help with include curating a high school class program to follow, information about financing, and preparation for the SAT or ACT. If you want to be successful in the world beyond high school, don’t be ashamed to get help. No one has to do it alone, and these programs and resources are there for you to take advantage of. CVCS offers a Counseling Center with these resources and more for all of our students, so make sure to take advantage of these today!
Have any other questions about preparing for the path to college? Feel free to get in touch with the Central Valley Christian School team today!
Speak with us today for assistance on college preparation!