Back to School Game Plan

Aug 5, 2014 by

Jeff Haig – As the summer is coming to a close, it’s time to begin thinking about the next school year. Preparation is key and taking the right action is an important step for your college admissions game plan. Below are five key strategies that will help you prepare for the competitive college admissions process:

  1. Focus on the numbers: Your grades are the most important part of your college planning strategy. College admissions officers look heavily on an applicant’s grades and the strength of the curriculum taken, particularly on the core classes.. Therefore, as you prepare for the next school year, be proactive in your coursework. Read ahead in your textbooks, review chapter questions, and even contact your teachers ahead of time for the course syllabus and upcoming assignments.
  2. Develop an Effective SAT/ACT Game plan: Your SAT/ACT score is another important part of your college application. Therefore, you need to make studying for this test a top priority. There are many ways you can prepare for this test including enrolling in a test prep course, taking practice tests, self-studying, or studying with a friend. Whatever method you choose, make sure you take this test seriously and you do what you can to ensure that you are fully ready to earn the best possible score.
  3. Become a Leader Outside of the Classroom: Colleges want students that take an active role in the activities they join. This is why college admissions officers ask what position you held and how involved you were in your activities. Think about how you will become a leader outside of the classroom and how you will stand out. Find those actives you are passionate about and make a difference in your school and community.

  1. Develop Solid Teacher Relationships: Your teachers play another role in your college admissions decisions. Make sure you are engaged in your courses and that you make a strong effort to do the best you can, and to be an active participant. Focus specifically on your core classes, especially in 10th and 11thgrades, because these years are the most important years for college admissions.
  2. Show an Interest in Your Targeted Colleges: College admissions officers look favorably on applicants who know why they are applying to their colleges. Take time throughout the year to explore the colleges you are interested in. Visit college campuses, attend information sessions, and talk with current students, alumni, and admissions officers. You need to know why you are a good fit for your targeted colleges.

The school year will begin soon. It’s important that you get into the right mindset and that you start the year off on the right track. Follow these five important strategies to maximize your college admissions game plan!

– Jeff Haig, Ed.D. MBA of Irvine is the founder of Strategic College Consulting and is a college planning expert. He helps schools, families and organizations through the college admissions and financial planning process. You can get his FREE Ultimate College Planning Blueprint at

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