Archive for the ‘High School Life & Advice’ Category

The Back-to-School Checklist

studyNow that the back-to-school rush has slowed down a little bit, it’s time to knock a few important things off your sophomore year checklist. What’s No. 1 on that list? Meeting with your guidance counselor! Schedule a time to chat with your counselor and run through this list of questions together:

Should I Think About Taking AP Classes?
Taking Advanced Placement classes is something every high schooler should consider. Not only will AP classes impress college admissions officers, passing the tests at the end of the year may mean you can skip some gen eds once you head to college. Ask your counselor what types of AP courses your school offers, what requirements you’ll have to meet to qualify for them, and if he or she thinks you’re prepared to succeed in this type of class.

Am I Scheduled to Graduate On Time?
You don’t want to make it to senior year before realizing you haven’t fulfilled some of your high school’s graduation requirements. Make sure you’re on track to graduate and see if there are any other mandatory classes you need to fit into your schedule before it’s too late.

What Else Will Make Me Appealing to Colleges?
Your guidance counselor knows the school’s student body – and the colleges they’re interested in – pretty well. So it only makes sense that he or she will be able to tell you what you need to do to stand out in the crowd, whether it’s pick up another extracurricular, start volunteering, or add another year of foreign language classes.

Are There Any Colleges I Should Start Looking At Now?
Don’t overlook college suggestions from your counselor! Expert advice from someone who knows you and your academic history is a great way to start thinking about which colleges are a good match for you. Write down any suggestions, add them to your college list, and see if they’re a good fit. While you’re at it, don’t forget to take the Careers and Majors personality assessment to figure out which schools have majors that fit your interests and skills.

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Your Junior Year: Everything You Need to Know About AP Classes

psat planLast month we talked to you a little about AP classes. Even if it’s too late to sign up for any this year, it’s worth talking to your counselor about putting them on your schedule senior year. Not sure if Advanced Placement classes are right for you? We’ll answer a couple common questions to help you figure it out.

What Exactly Are AP Classes?
AP courses are college-level courses that you’ll take alongside your regular high school classes. They’re typically taught within your high school and taught by your school’s teachers. You don’t have to leave school early and head to a local college to participate. If the classes you want aren’t offered in your high school, talk to your counselor about the possibility of taking a class online.

Do I Get College Credit?
It depends. At the end of the year, you’ll take an Advanced Placement test. Scores range between 1 and 5. The higher your score, the more likely it is multiple colleges will accept your AP credit and allow you to skip certain college courses. However, every college has different requirements, so call the admissions offices at the schools you’re considering to see what AP scores they accept.

What Types of AP Classes Are Available?
There are nearly 40 different AP courses offered, meaning there’s probably something that fits your interests and academic achievements. Biology, Psychology, European history, drawing, Spanish, statistics – the list goes on and on!

Why Should I Bother Taking AP Classes?
It’s no fun to be taking more advanced classes if you have friends who are sitting back and enjoying an easy year. But AP pays off in the long run. Not only will you skip certain college classes, you’ll be a more attractive candidate to admissions counselors and save thousands in college costs once you enroll. Plus, getting a taste of what college-level coursework is like before you set foot on campus helps you prepare for a different workload your freshman year.

Let us know if you’re opting for AP classes this year (or next!) on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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