The answer to this question, unfortunately, is “it depends”. The earlier the better in some cases is the best time to start preparing to get into a good university. Knowing how hard is it to get into Dartmouth, for example, some people start their child’s preparation in kindergarten!
That might sound extreme, but the idea is that when you start depends on the school you’re targeting as well as what kind of degree you’re interested in. The more elite the school and the more challenging the degree, the more early preparation will pay off.
In this article, we will give you some factors to think about when it comes to getting ready for university education.
Junior High School
Some people believe that it is far too early to start preparing for university before high school. After all, it is difficult for an eighth-g rader to know what they would even want to study when they are applying to colleges. Not only that, but it is very rare for any grades in junior high to be relevant to an admissions officer in a university.
However, there are a number of things that they can be doing that will increase the odds of getting into the school they become most interested in later on. If the student going into eighth grade is going to be in mostly advanced placement courses then chances are good that they are already at a high school level for learning. This means that they could qualify to do some high school courses and get credits ahead of time.
Course selection when starting out in high school is very important. No matter what degree you eventually go for, the grades you get and the types of classes will count a lot. Try to take as many advanced placement classes as you can. Just make sure to not get in over your head as you have to be able to manage the course load.
Get involved in some after-school clubs to show initiative. If you love math and science, then try getting into the math club or work on some science projects.
This is when it is getting close to the time to decide on a school and what kind of degree you want to go for. It’s time to concentrate on the right types of classes but also some volunteering. It may be too early to do internships, but you could still do some work in a company in a field you are interested in.
It’s also time to start taking some preparatory exams like the PSAT to see what areas you need to work on.
Try to not start your preparations for college starting in senior year. You really need to have something to build on when you start your last year. If you haven’t done much by now, hopefully, you have stellar grades so far. Start doing some internships over the summer before high school starts. This is also a good time to start visiting some colleges to get an idea of what you are looking for.