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Building Your Academic Foundation

 

Gearing up for college and choosing a program can be a daunting task but not having the right course requirements can make your college decision a nightmare. Fear not. It's never too late to tailor your studies to fit the program you want.

Algebra and Geometry
Getting good grades on challenging courses like dreaded algebra and geometry can give you that edge. If you start early enough in these subjects you'll have enough time to complete chemistry, physics and advanced math courses. Having tough courses like these under your belt could give you the advantage in the increasingly competitive application process; and provide you with a greater variety of programs to choose from.

English
Take this course every year. Learning and building on your writing and reading comprehension skills, not to mention your vocabulary will serve you well when it comes application time. Besides it wouldn't hurt to read a few of the classics to see what all the fuss is about.

Science
Like math, science provides a great building block for your future. Recommended subjects include biology and physics, earth and space sciences and advanced programs in this field. You might be surprised at how many science courses are required for post secondary studies.

History and Geography
Colleges really like students that know what's going on both here and around the world. History and geography are considered core academic courses that students should have as part of their high school curriculum.

Languages
Including a language in your arsenal is a great way to show that you're willing to venture outside your comfort level. More post secondary schools are requiring students to study a language for a few years and some actually prefer it. The hardest part might just be deciding what to take.

Advanced Placement (AP)
These courses will show colleges your ability to handle college-level materials. They can also prepare you for what to expect once you leave high school and make the transition a little less intimidating.

Computer Science
Knowing the basics will help you in the long run. Whether it's during college or later on in the job market, computer skills can be a competitive edge. Brushing up on your typing or Internet research skills can make your study time more effective.

The Arts
Learning the finer points will provide you with a greater appreciation for the world around you. Experts believe that students with art courses do better in school. Getting the best start will definitely help your college career.

The right mix of courses and subjects can give you a better selection when it comes to choosing your program. Missing a key course requirement can make the difference between getting the program you want or missing out. So sit down with your guidance counselor or advisor to check out what schools are looking for and plan ahead, you'll be happy you did.

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