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Tips on How Middle School Students Can Prepare for High School and College

Your middle school grades and activities won’t appear on your college application, but you can use seventh and eighth grades to set yourself up to have the strongest record possible in high school. This will, in turn, increase your prospects of getting into an academically strong college. Additionally, if you’re applying to private high schools, these tips will help you as you begin to prepare for the SSAT and/or ISEE exams.

Seven tips for maximizing your prospects for top schools follow.

1. Work on Building Study Habits
Middle school grades won’t appear on your college application, so you can use seventh and eighth grade to work on time management and study skills. Start longer-term assignments well ahead of time and learn to focus on your work in a quiet setting.

2. Read a plethora of books
The more you read, the stronger your verbal, writing, and critical thinking skills will be. Reading beyond your homework will help you do well in high school, on the ACT and SAT, and in college.

3. Take Challenging Courses
When senior year rolls around, you will want to have taken the most challenging courses available at your school. The tracking of those courses begins in middle school (or earlier). Position yourself so that you can take full advantage of whatever AP courses and upper-level math, science, and language courses your school offers.

4. Work on Foreign Language Skills
Most competitive colleges want to see strength in a foreign language. The more years of a language you take the better.

5. Get Up To Speed in Math and Science
Advanced math and science skills are increasingly crucial in college and in the work place. If necessary, get tutoring help in these areas in middle school so you can excel as you move into high school.

6. Explore Several Extra-Curricular Activities
When you apply to college, you should be able to display depth and leadership in one or two extracurricular activities such as music, athletics, or drama. By figuring out your passions in middle school, you can better focus on developing leadership skills and expertise in high school.

7. Explore and Enjoy
Keep in mind that your middle school record doesn’t appear on your college application. Don’t stress out about college. Instead, use these years to discover explore new things, discover what subjects and activities excite you, and develop good study habits.

David Dickson is an admissions counselor at Top Test Prep; Top Test Prep’s educational programs and academic tutoring, allow students to improve exam scores and gain admission to top private schools, colleges and grad schools. Call TTP’s team today at 1-800-501-Prep.

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