Tutor Doctor’s Top Tips for Students Starting High School

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Is your student making the transition to high school this fall? Here are Tutor Doctor’s top tips for students starting high school!

1. Get involved. High schools are typically more populated than elementary and middle schools, and it’s common for new students to feel overwhelmed in such a denser environment. Students can find their “niche” by getting involved in clubs, study groups, and after school programs. Not only will these opportunities help you to meet other students that share similar interests, but they also provide impressive extracurricular activities to add to your college applications.

2. Start thinking about college. Continuing from our previous tip, students should really start thinking about college from the beginning of their high school career. We recommend students start preparing for their college exams (like the SAT and ACT) well in advance. Students should at least attempt the PSAT exam once before taking either the SAT or ACT to give them an idea of the overall structure and format of these standardized tests. Multiple attempts are always recommended, and students that start practicing for these exams early on are more likely to achieve higher scores by senior year.

3. Don’t be hard on yourself. The transition to high school can feel overwhelming for many students, and it’s important to remind yourself that these feelings are normal. High school is a different environment, and it’s extremely common to feel nervous when making this shift. After all, it’s a big change! Students should feel encouraged to reach out to their parents and teachers for additional support. Although starting high school may feel a bit scary at first, your schedule will become easier to manage once you have gotten adjusted to a consistent routine.

4. Focus on academics. Although we don’t want students to feel overly pressured, it is important to keep in mind that grades are significantly more impactful during the high school years. This is due to the cumulative nature of how high school grade point averages are calculated. When students are applying to colleges, their final GPA will include all four years of high school. As a result, students should be aware that “everything counts” from day one – your grades during freshman and sophomore year contribute just as much to your final GPA as any other year. That said, students should not feel disheartened if they don’t receive the grades they want at the beginning, as showing marked improvement over time also looks great on college applications.

5. Stay organized. Students may have some experience with balancing multiple subjects from their time in middle school, but high school is really where individual classes begin to become standard. A single binder will likely not be enough to stay organized when students are juggling five or more classes each semester. We recommend using dividers and a color-coding system to remain organized, and always keep class materials separate from one another to avoid mixups. For high school students, an agenda or planner should be considered a necessity to keep track of daily assignments. For more Tutor Doctor tips on how to get organized at school, click here!

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