One reason that working hard in high school is important is because it prepares you for college-level courses. At many colleges, accepted students must take placement tests in subjects such as reading, writing and math to see if they’re ready for college-level work in those areas.
When you take a placement test, your results may show that you can skip some introductory courses. Or they may show that you need more preparation for college work. If this is the case, your college may require you to take remedial courses.
What Are Remedial Courses?
Remedial courses are catch-up courses, also called developmental or basic-skills courses. They don’t provide credits that count toward your degree. But they do give you the opportunity to improve your skills so you can tackle college-level work and succeed.
Save Time and Money
If you don’t need to take remedial courses in college, you’ll save time and money. You’ll be able to start right away on classes that interest you and that count toward your degree. This means you’re more likely to graduate on time and save money on tuition costs.
How to Get College Ready
How can you avoid having to take remedial classes? To start, talk to a school counselor once you enter high school and find out which classes colleges look for. Then take college-prep classes in a variety of subjects. While key subjects like English and math are important, colleges also value classes such as foreign languages and computer science.
Here are some other important steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for college:
- Choose challenging courses. The work will be closer to what you’ll experience in college.
- Ask for help if you need it. If you’re struggling in a class, talk to your school counselor or teacher.
- Make sure you have time for your schoolwork. Cut down on extracurricular activities if you feel like you’re spreading yourself too thin.
- Take advantage of any courses your high school offers in skills such as taking notes, studying and doing research.
- Stay focused during senior year. You’ll be able to get into the rhythm of college classes more easily if you keep working hard during your last year of high school.