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High School Is Not Enough to Prepare You for College

The ACT has found that taking the required courses in high school does not ensure that you will have the skill set you need to succeed in college. According to their recent news release based on this year’s test scores, although progress has been made (the number of students who meet ACT’s readiness requirements increased by 1% since last year, which experts find encouraging) nearly half of all test takers either meet none of the ACT’s readiness benchmarks for college or only one of them. The benchmarks are based on grades students actually get in college and indicate the likelihood a tested high school student will get a good or bad grade in college based on their performance. From this data, the ACT has concluded that the core high school classes are often not rigorous enough to prepare students for the challenges of college.

These results really came as no surprise to me. Currently, at my college, many of the students I know struggle, particularly with writing essays. Their high schools simply did not teach them college standards such as correct MLA format and citation, essay structure, and critical thinking and analytical skills.

How can you succeed in college in high school if the classes you’re required to take aren’t preparing you? The article stresses the importance of choosing your classes wisely, and taking additional classes.

When I was in high school, observing how little the English department at my school offered, I tested into a course at the local junior college. As a sophomore in high school, I took college freshman English and learned MLA format and how to support my arguments and cite my sources. If your school isn’t challenging you or teaching you what you need to know to prepare yourself for college, take courses at a local college. Also, take AP courses and AP tests when available. Find out who the best and most challenging teachers are and strive to get into classes they teach. In a public school system, it shouldn’t be up to students to find ways to obtain a decent education, but for now, it might be the only way you can make the leap from high school to college.


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