How to Prepare for College

The majority of high school students reasonably perceive college as a big life step if to compare with elementary and middle school stages. A person’s future life is determined by high school and college achievements. Students create and build their careers through their hard work, efforts and time put and devoted to every skill he or she gains. It is critically important to begin to prepare yourself for college while you are younger rather than at the very final moment or during your last school year.

How to prepare for college?

Prepare: Counselor Meeting

How to prepare for college in high school? First of all, set a meeting with the person serving as a high school counselor during your freshman year. He or she is a person who will work together with you during the upcoming 4 years. The school counselor will ask you certain questions to determine what your vision of yourself in future is, what your targets are and what career decisions you should make. It is better to create a realistic plan of decisions you feel sure enough to make and of goals to achieve.

Do not put everything on a specific target. Keep in mind that your career definitely will change in the future, even during your higher education studies. And the most important thing of your successful preparation is the courage. Store enough of it.

Prepare: Degree Requirements Analysis

Check out the surveys that involve degree requirements you need to fulfill. Almost all institutions have certain preferences about students to be successful and have a bunch of subjects (history, science, literature and math for instance) set for the “base” or “substantial” degree. Higher tech degrees then turn into specific fields which you can become a rare specialist in.

It can’t be too early to begin with all this, so don’t be too scared to go in for all that after the beginning of your freshman year.

Prepare: School Schedule Development

The next step of our “how to prepare for college” guide is the schedule setup. Together with the counselor, you need to create a school schedule for four upcoming years. Cooperate to find out what courses to choose and pass in order to fit your profile subjects perfectly. Keep in mind selections of electives from high schools should be matching the specific degree you want to get.

Ask the counselor to help you fit in prep, advanced classes and so on. Still, consider the possible need of fulfilling prerequisites or taking more serious exams.

Prepare: Extracurricular Activity Involvement

How to prepare for college life? Go in for extracurricular activities. Commissions are passionate for people who can involve themselves and their efforts in school and who were able to prove it in their past years. Your extracurricular activities are not obligatory to belong to your school. Volunteer jobs, clubs, interest circles, and other possibilities to realize your mind potential and to become a hobby around your neighborhood will fit here perfectly too.

You can create a list of these activities and indicate the time you have been going in for them in order to show your future college (or some of them) your ability for time management taking into account activities and events beyond the school schedule and homework.

One thing to notice though: quality matters first. Just don’t think the commission would like to see you joining 10 different clubs during your senior high school year. You get it, don’t you?

And on the other side, there stands something you are really passionate about and you are going in for it since your freshman year, and then you get a volunteering position. Sounds better, doesn’t it? Then, nobody forbids you to start visiting some other extra clubs during the following 4 years.

Prepare: Hard Studying

That is the most important thing about how to prepare for college in high school. Your hard studying in every subject and course of each year can bring you really a lot of dividends in the future. The general cumulative grade point average (that GPA) is crucial: each institution sets up a minimal GPA for a student to enter and then to be accepted.

Prepare: Note Taking

It seems not that important in preparation, but you will understand the value of note-taking skills soon after starting your studies. At high schools, there are about 25 to 35 students in a class per a single teacher. While in colleges, there can be 25 to more than 100 students per one professor.

They do classes in any environment at their disposal, whether it is an auditorium or a real science laboratory. Improve your note-taking and listening skills during school years because professors will not wait for you to write down everything they say, and there will be no time for them to say things twice in a row. Modern students usually bring laptops or tape recorders to type or record notes. So, make sure you’ll be able to save information given to you by the professor during lectures.

Prepare: College Researching

How to prepare for college life properly? Begin with researching during the sophomore year. Find out and enlist their prerequisites and requirements that might be needed beforehand. It will be useful to ask your friends or family members to share their experience. It is a great time for beginning to think and plan out your future expenses and needs in finances. Sketch everything up on a paper:

  • What’s up with your residence? Do you plan to gather a pack of friends to share rent payments, to stay in your parents’ living or to reside on campus? Be aware, campus residing demands meals and housing all the time.
  • Account fees and tuitions. As a rule, universities and colleges count tuition based on credits you are about to take. Special courses and sub-courses with their own separate payments also exist, so don’t miss them while counting.
  • Gather info about books. These are not similar to high school books given out easily, as each professor in a college wants students to have particular textbooks. In order to prevent book prices from wondering you suddenly, try planning to buy used books from previous students or online platforms and forums. Scout around your siblings or friends: maybe, some of them have taken the same courses. Every free book means some money saved for other purposes.
  • Scholarships and financial aid. Financial help rises your budgets up and provides with a great assistance. The most part of aid and scholarship programs need students to have their GPA at a required level to get help. Make scholarship applications in advance that will mean a lot when their time will come.


Start to get ready to prepare to SAT/PSAT/ACT and to pass them. Numerous high schools will make you take them either during a senior or junior year, and at least one of those tests is accepted as a requirement for the most part of colleges. Keep in mind, certain degrees require you to pass them on certain scores.

It is better to take PSAT during junior years because it means good SAT preparation and provides you with merit scholarship qualifications.

College preparation

Prepare: College Campus Scouting

Get into campuses of your top chosen colleges during the junior year early spring. Get familiar with admission, parking grounds, housing places, buildings, and structures. Any excursion tours held by colleges let you advance here. While being there, catch as many pieces of info as you can.

Prepare: College Application

And here is the final part of our guide on how to prepare for college in high school. Start applying to institutions right after your senior high school year starts. Do not send applications to colleges not appealing to you or possibly exceeding your goals/skills/experiences and so on. More than 50% of students enter colleges located not in their home states.

Keep in mind the fact about most part of commissions to have certain deadlines for application acceptances, so make it clear to prepare and to organize things properly. Here you need to send a paper to them, proving your reasons and wishes to study in their college, to reveal your completed activities and to show yourself in general. Keep an application copy of every college to prevent unneeded stress and nervousness in case if things accidentally get to wrong places. Just a single thing not to worry about, but it matters a lot when the point is the college preparation.

Here is the table of steps for you to check the process:





Meet Counselor



Know Demands



Schedule Up



Clubs Matter



Study Hard



Note Taking



Research Colleges



Pass Tests



Scout Campuses






And the last thing about how to prepare for college in high school: know that you can make it. The fact that you decided to enter a college matters a lot with itself. Success will follow if you put enough efforts to prepare yourself and to organize things well.

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