The junior year of high school is probably the busiest and most stressful of all the high school years. Students are expected to excel not only in their current course load, but also to study for the SAT or ACT, be involved in extracurricular activities, perhaps manage a part-time job, and focus on the college admissions process—all at the same time! While juggling so many balls at once can be tricky, it is important for students and parents to maintain focus on two key areas:
Academics, Academics, Academics – students have heard it before, but it bears repeating—the junior year of high school is tremendously important. It is a student’s last opportunity to increase the GPA (average) that will be shown on high school transcripts and college applications. Even if a student’s freshman or sophomore grades have been less than stellar, admissions officials appreciate a steady increase of grades during the junior year. It shows growth and maturity on the student’s part, and gives those in the admissions office reason to believe that this upward trend will continue during senior year and, of course, throughout college. Moreover, colleges generally award merit scholarships based on a student’s high school GPA and standardized test scores. Speaking of test scores….
Should I take the SAT or the ACT? Most colleges accept both the SAT and the ACT. The tests have significant differences including: 1) the SAT has a vocabulary section, the ACT does not; 2) the ACT has a science section, the SAT does not. 3) The SAT is considered to be more of a reasoning test, which measures a student’s analytical or problem-solving abilities. The ACT focuses more on curriculum and subjects that have been covered in school. Many students prepare for, and take, both tests. The higher scoring test then becomes the focus of more intense study, as a student prepares to take that test again in an attempt to further increase his or her score. While the tests are scored differently, a conversion chart or a concordance table can be found on the websites of both the College Board (SAT) and the ACT.
While the junior year of high school can be hectic, students who successfully navigate this year will be well prepared for what lies ahead—a fabulous college experience!
For more information, contact: Felice R. Kobrick, College Consultant, at Kobrick College Consulting, LLC; (516) 587-0600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us at www.kobrickcollegeconsulting.com & Like us on facebook!