Some school districts have different tracks for the many career aspirations of their students. For most colleges, the coursework in the college track fits the majority of the class prerequisites. For more information on your college of interest, contact your high school counselor or the college admissions department and ask for a complete list of prerequisites. In the meantime, here is a generic list to get you started.
Most colleges require the minimum of the following:
4 years of English
3-4 years of Math
3-4 years of Science
3 years of Social Studies
2-4 years of Foreign language
These classes are considered fundamental in basic knowledge and preparation for college success. Other courses they prefer you to have are classes that support and give you exposure to your major. For example, if you are majoring in communications, involvement in the school’s AV department or communications department gives you greater consideration than someone who has had no exposure.
Depending upon the college, the SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests are required. There are certain scores that you must pass in order to receive admission and scholarship consideration.
The SAT is comprised of three parts: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. Each section’s scores range from 200 to 800. The three sections combine to form your total score. A perfect score would be 2400.
The ACT is comprised of four parts: English Language, Reading, Mathematics and Science. Each section’s scores range between 1 and 36. The four scores are averaged together for the composite score. A perfect composite score would be 36. There is an optional writing portion of the ACT exam. The writing section’s scores range from 1 to 12. The perfect writing score is a 12.
Some colleges require SAT Subject Tests to get into their schools and especially their competitive programs. These include Literature, Math, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry amongst others. Some schools will let you substitute AP tests or an ACT test instead.
With your application, you will be required to write one or more essays. Usually, one is what you hope to learn or achieve through education at the college. Every school will have a slightly different essay topic. The main thing is no matter which essay you are writing, make sure you are writing like your English taught you to. Be sure to follow all conventional rules of grammar and writing. Make your essay neat and easy to read. Please, do not write or spell like you are texting someone. These essays are given heavy consideration, especially at competitive, larger schools.
Many schools require recommendations by your teachers and community organizations. Be wise in choice of person to write about you. These recommendations are an opportunity to prove your character, your talents, and to set you apart from the other applicants. Make sure you provide a addressed, stamped envelope if you want the writer to mail the recommendation directly to the college.
Competitive schools often require an admissions interview. This gives you a face to face opportunity to promote yourself, explain your thoughts and goals, and to impress the admissions officer. Be sure to dress in business attire and to act in a professional manner before, during, and after the interview. You never know who is watching and taking notes.