I hope everyone had a great, great summer full of adventure and relaxation! That is what summer should be all about. But perhaps you attended a summer school or camp or travelled and saw some amazing places. Whatever it is that you did do store those memories and perhaps write down some important details about what you learned and experienced.
As the school year is starting here is some advice:
Grade 12 – You’re SENIORS!!! Woo Hoo!!! You have a lot to do this semester and it is very important that you get organized. Plan ahead, make a schedule, get your head in the right place. There is no time to ease into this school year. You must jump in with both feet eager to make this the best year, your final year, in high school.
• College Applications
• Testing – ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS
• ESSAYS – lots of them
• Grades – please remember that Grades are far, far more important than test scores (even though they are important)
• You are now at the top of the heap, the students all other students look up. This is a time to step into that maturity everyone expects!
That’s just a few things you need to focus on besides all the other things – clubs, activities, sports and some time to just chill.
Grade 11 – Probably the most important grade in High School! This year is, in some ways the last set of grades universities will see and make a decision on. So, just like the advice above for Seniors, you too must focus on making this the best year. It is a time to really focus on making those grades the best they can be.
• Remember that even though college applications are still a year away, you need to think about what you want out of a your next step. Loads of colleges will be coming through Beijing either to your school or to a central location. GO!!!!
•The college representatives who come to your school are most likely the ones who will be reading your application. GO!!!!
• Even if you have never heard of the school, do some research so you know ahead of time if it is worthwhile. Don’t discount it because you have never heard of the school or it is not “ranked”. That’s just silly and not good or rational thinking.
• Testing – take the PSAT in October, if your school offers it. Especially if you are a US Citizen – you may qualify for National Merit Scholarships. But you have to take the PSAT.
• Take the SAT in December or the ACT in February. If you are not sure which test to take – do both and see which one you prefer. Then focus on that one test for the rest of your testing. There is no advantage in taking both all the time.
Grade 10 – Yes, University is miles away, but school is very important. Get involved in sports and clubs. Start a club; try to take on some leadership opportunities. Don’t just follow the crowd; look at ways you can stand out.
• Take the PSAT, if your school offers it. This is the first time you can PRACTICE for the SAT with a real live test that has similar questions and format to a real SAT (no writing section though).
• There is NO reason to take an SAT or ACT in Grade 10 or Grade 9 for that matter.
Grade 9 – For those of you who are Freshman – welcome to High School! Life as you knew it just changed. Things are going to get a bit harder. You will need to start your high school career off with the best possible grades.
• Many colleges and universities look at Grade 9 grades. So, yes, Grade 9 COUNTS! Even if a school does not look at Grade 9 results they can figure out how you did in Grade 9 by the rigor of the courses you take in Grade 10.
Oh, one last thing – Remember that you start the year in your classes with an A. Your job is to keep it at an A. So, welcome back. Work hard and play hard but keep focused on the goal. Have a great start to the year!