To get in to the school of your dreams it takes three key components. First, an excellent standardized test score. Second, a GPA that shows you are dedicated and capable of handling the academic world of university life. And third, a deep and well rounded extracurricular experience.
In all three components it is important to start early. Plan early to take the courses that will best help you to prepare for college. At the same time, don’t stretch yourself so far that your GPA begins to suffer. A healthy balance will help you to best increase your skills and maintain a completive GPA. Find out whether your targeted school uses a weighted GPA or not. This could effect how many honors and AP classes you take.
Likewise, begin to study for your standardized tests well before the few weeks leading up to that dreaded Saturday morning. Start months and maybe even a year in advance. Set goals, and use study courses and practice tests. If you want to score higher than the average high school student, than work smarter than the average high school student. Take advantage of study aids and online resources as you prepare for the big day.
Finally, diversify and deepen your experiences outside of the classroom. Show the college admissions board that you were not just the senior who began to lead at the end of high school so it would look good on your resume. Start early in volunteer efforts. Get involved and stretch yourself in a variety of activities. These skills and experiences will be of great benefit to you in your college years and in life beyond. As you put your efforts into these three key components, you will feel more confidence in that you are making yourself a more competitive candidate for that school of your choice.