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The Middle School College preparedness timeline.

  • 6th Grade
    • Make sure you know your learning style – do you learn better by seeing, hearing, or doing?
    • Develop good study habits based on your learning style.
    • Be sure to attend school regularly, take it seriously, and get good grades.
    • Do your homework – homework is practice, and this is how you improve.
    • Keep talking to your parents about what you are doing in school each day.
  • 7th Grade
    • Participate in school activities such as music or sports.
    • Be active in clubs if you have the opportunity.
    • Keep doing your homework!
    • Begin looking at career options that interest you.
    • Talk with your parents about career possibilities. You might even be able to “job shadow” by following them to work some day to see first hand what they do in their career.
  • 8th Grade
    • Continue to develop very good study habits and organizational skills.
    • Keep doing your homework — homework is practice, and practice makes perfect!
    • Keep working hard to get good grades. It is important that you do well in ALL of your subjects, not just your favorites, so you get off to a good start in high school.
    • Prepare to take EXPLORE! An assessment offered by your school that does not count against you but is used as a guidance tool to prepare you for high school. For more information visit: http://www.actstudent.org/explore/
    • Review the College Admissions/Financial Aid Timeline.
    • Begin thinking about your education beyond high school — which type of college will you choose: 2 year, 4 year or Career School? Are you considering the military? You have many options, and now is the time to begin exploring them.
    • Familiarize yourself with the TOPS Core Curriculum Requirements.
    • Meet with your school counselor to discuss your ninth grade courses, the importance that colleges and universities place on grades and at what year in school grades will start to be considered in the admissions process. Also discuss college preparatory, AP and other honors-level courses you should be taking in high school (11th through 12th grade).
    • Ask your teachers, counselor and parents about academic enrichment programs (including summer and weekend programs) that are available.
    • Think about pursuing extracurricular activities (such as sports, performing arts, volunteer work, or other activities that interest you).
    • Create your 5 year educational plan.
    • Talk with your parents about how your high school courses, your future educational plans, and your career plans all fit together.
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