College prep needs to start earlier than you think it does. At least that’s what US News and World Report suggests.
In a recent article — Use All 4 Years of High School to Prep for College — it was reported that only 25% of students who took the ACT met college preparedness standards. That means of the more than 1.8 million students who took it, less than half a million are ready for college.
And we’re talking about students who took the ACT — a college entrance exam. It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest these students are those that have focused on college prep.
Why college prep matters to you
If you plan on attending college, preparing yourself for success now is important. It’s especially important because it takes years of growth to develop the kinds of skills you’ll need to succeed on the next level.
In the article from US News and World Report, they also note a specific important benefit of college prep: 75% of those students who meet the college prep standards pass their classes. If that seems low to you, consider how much lower it must be for the 75% of students who aren’t prepared.
College is no walk in the park — it’s difficult! If you want to succeed, you need to make sure you’re prepping now.
How to make sure you’re prepping for college now
There are several ways to make sure you’ll be ready for college when it comes around. We’ll give you a few.
1) Focus on your grades over your test scores
GPA matters more than SAT scores when it comes down to it. This may sound weird considering all the emphasis put on test prep as the focus of college prep. Test prep can get you into college. But your GPA is a better measure of your success in college.
Simply put, the best predictor of future success is past performance.
2) Focus on developing skills and applying effort over just getting a grade
This is the back side of the same coin. GPA matters because it’s a better indicator of the effort and strategies you apply as a student. Being a great student has more to do with academic skills and effort than raw intelligence.
The same goes with college prep. If you apply yourself now, focus on study skills and daily effort, you’ll find that you’re in a great place when college comes around.
3) Challenge yourself now for great college prep
This may be the real key behind this. If you’re challenging yourself now — meaning you probably need to take an uncomfortably hard class every once and a while — college will be much less of a challenge later. College prep really is that simple. Work hard today, force yourself to grow, and you’ll see the benefits.
We’d love to hear any other suggestions you have in the comments section — or your can check out our study skills courses for more college prep tools today.