Two years is a long time in the perspective of a sixteen-year-old, but as you very well know, two years fly by like nothing. Your child's first day of high school jitters are probably still fresh in your memory. And just think, in another two years, you'll be shipping off your young one to college. Wow. "Time flying" doesn't do it justice: Time rockets forward!
Junior year is the time when students everywhere really begin thinking about college. Students all over the country are sizing up their academic history, preparing for AP courses, and digging deep on Chicago ACT and SAT test prep.
While all of these things matter, it is more than a good idea for them to get making the most of their junior year from the get-go. The first thing students need to worry about is grades, and this year can have a big impact in the long run.
For Top Performers
If your child has been performing well freshman and sophomore year, this is a great time to consider a more rigorous course load. This will also help your child stand out in the eyes of admissions officers.
Every year, more and more students across the country are taking Advanced Placement exams and absorbing college coursework via community colleges. These courses and subsequent exams are great for several reasons:
- Looks great on college applications
- Gets college credit ahead of time, enabling them to take less General Education classes in college, thereby
- Saving $$$ and also, taking college courses
- Gives admissions officers a good idea of how your child will fair with their college's offerings.
How Should the Junior Cross the Road?
For students who have a middle of the road GPA, junior year is when some good ol' fashioned bootstrap fastening will pay off. Students that improve in their junior year will not only see a GPA bonus, but they'll also show schools that they have the capability to turn it up a notch.
A student doesn’t need to take all honors classes and be every teacher's pet to get into college. They do, however, need to adequately perform across the board, so bringing each grade up will do a whole lot of good.
How can you help bring up your child's grades? Tutors are a surefire way to boost your child's GPA. Students don’t need to be on the verge of flunking out to benefit from tutoring. Tutors can work with students on improving study and organizational skills as well as to help them master specific concepts as needed. Little boosts here and there can make a big impact.
Don't Quit, You Can Do It!
For students who have struggled through their first two years of high school, this is not the time to give up. Improvement can speak volumes about the academic capabilities of a student, and will make a fantastic underdog story on a college essay. Make a plan to help your child excel junior year with the added help of teachers, parents and tutors.
For students that have fallen behind, there are several resources out there on the web to help students catch up. The House offers a variety of palatable lessons in math, science, economics, and more. For a quick concept pick-me-up, this can be an invaluable resource for the student that needs an extra hand. Overall, it doesn’t do well to assume things will get better. Actively pursuing measures to improve academic performance during a student’s junior year will make a big difference when college application season rolls around.
Junior year is a thrilling for many--varsity sports, clubs and proms to boot. But grades are numero uno. It is your job as a parent to make sure that a student’s life at this time is well-balanced, organized, and moving in the right direction. Keep the whole family involved, for the results of this school year are too important to carry on without paying attention.
Two years might seem like a lifetime, but applications will be due before you know it.
What's Next? Our company Chicago Academic has produced a helpful guide... Download Your Free Essential Junior Year Checklist or see how we can help you soar through your Junior year!