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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Making the most of 9th grade

As a 9th-grade high school student, what are the most important things I should focus on to better prepare for college? Should I be focusing more on academics or on extracurricular activities? Any advice would be appreciated.

7 months ago

The key to making the most of your 9th-grade year is striking a balance between academics and extracurricular activities. This will help lay a solid foundation for both your intellectual growth and college applications. Here are some steps you can take to achieve this balance:

1. Prioritize academics: It's crucial to start high school with a strong academic foundation. Focus on maintaining good grades and adapting to the study habits and organization required for success in high school. You may start taking more challenging courses like honors or even Advanced Placement classes if you feel ready.

2. Explore extracurricular activities: Freshman year is an excellent time to try new activities and discover your interests. Consider joining clubs, participating in sports, engaging in volunteer work, or finding other activities that align with your passions. By exploring various activities, you'll find the ones that truly resonate with you, which will allow you to contribute more significantly and potentially take on leadership roles in the future.

3. Develop essential skills: The skills you develop in high school will benefit you in college and beyond. Use this time to improve your time management, organization, communication, and problem-solving skills. These abilities will help you excel in both your academics and extracurriculars.

4. Start building relationships: Establish connections with your teachers, counselors, and peers. These relationships can provide valuable support, advice, and eventually, recommendations for your college applications. Plus, having a strong network can help you learn about and access opportunities within and outside of school.

5. Plan ahead: Begin researching colleges and learning about their admission requirements. This will help you understand what you need to do to meet their expectations and set goals for the coming years. Keep in mind that while researching, focus on factors like location, size, faculty, programs, financial aid, etc.

6. Reflect on your interests and goals: By starting early in honing in on your interests and potential career paths, you can start working towards building a "spike" - a highly-developed specialty that sets you apart from other applicants.

In summary, while academics should be your primary focus, developing a well-rounded experience through extracurricular activities is also essential. By taking these steps in your 9th-grade year, you will build a strong foundation for the rest of high school and be better prepared for college applications.

7 months ago

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