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Take more challenging courses in high school

The College Board, which administers the SAT and Advanced Placement(AP) exams, posed questions to 1,507 students who finished high school in 2010 to see how they were doing a year later. Almost half of the students stated that they wish they had taken more difficult writing, math, and science courses. An overwhelming majority of students who did take AP or International Baccalaureate courses-39 percent of those surveyed- felt the challenge was worth it. The inadequate preparation for college was illustrated by the 54 percent of graduates who observed that their freshman year courses were more difficult than expected. A quarter of freshmen were compelled to take remedial courses during their first year. About one in seven students did not make it through the year. The wisdom of taking AP and international baccalaureate courses in high school is borne out by the survey results. Taking more challenging courses not only will help you gain admission to the your top choice school, but will also make you feel more fulfilled after graduating high school.

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David Dickson is a counselor at Top Test Prep. Top Test Prep is an elite private tutoring and test preparation company that helps students gain admission to the best private schools (K-12), colleges and graduate schools. For more information, call (800) 501-Prep.

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