Thereís a lot you can do in junior high that can help prepare you for college. The best way to make sure you stay on track is to set goals for yourself. Everyoneís goals are different, so set ones that are right for you. Use IllinoisMentor's Plan for College module to keep track of the important timelines.
- Explore your personal interests. What you like to do now may help you decide what youíd like to do in the future.
- Learn about different jobs. There are a lot of career opportunities available. Chances are, you may want to do something you donít even know exists!
- Study hard and work hard. Grades are important when applying to colleges. Here are some easy study tips to help you get the grades you want and keep them.
- Keep a notebook for all your homework assignments and check it every day. As you complete each assignment, make a check mark next to it. Each check mark is one step closer to college.
- Set aside a certain time each day for study. If you donít have any homework, use that time to read a book, draw, write a story or just think.
- Find a quiet place where you can study without being bothered. Your study place should have good light and a flat workspace, if necessary.
- Ask for help when you need it. Remember, there are no bad questions. Your teachers and parents want to help you learn.
- Share your progress with your parents. Show them your papers, let them know what youíre studying, and ask them questions. Youíll be surprised how much they know!
- Ask your counselor or teacher(s) what courses youíll need to take to be prepared for college. If you have a choice of classes in junior high, take ones that will challenge you and prepare you for college.
When you get to high school, be sure to complete all the courses required for admission into college. Different colleges have different requirements. The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) recommends that college-bound students take at least the following high school courses:
- Four years of English
- Three years of mathematics, including algebra and geometry
- Three years of laboratory science, including biology and chemistry
- Three years of social studies, including history and government
- Two years of electives, chosen from foreign language, music, visual arts, theater, dance and vocational education.
Remember, the more college-prep classes you take, the better prepared you will be. Your guidance counselors will be able to help you select the best classes for you.
Save money! College isnít cheap. Itís best to sit with your parents and talk about possible money-saving options.