High school admissions are extremely important to shape your child’s future. Thus, the process of choosing the right school and helping them secure a seat in it can be a stressful task.
Go through these points to make sure that you leave no stone unturned in choosing the right high school for your kid. These tips are shared here by SSAT expert, Etutorworld.
Take Some Time to Find Out What Your Child Really Wants
Before you jump into conducting detailed research, get your child to invest time into thinking about what it is they really want out of their education. Tell them to mull over some basic questions about the kind of high school they want to attend, like: how far is their ideal high school? Does it have huge sports stadiums or just some indoor game rooms? And most importantly: does the institution offer opportunities for research in a particular area of their interest?
They will probably not be able to come up with all the answers at once, and some of their choices might vary during the search process. But taking some time to consider what it is they are really looking for will go a long way for focusing them on a high school that is the best fit for them.
Knowing answers to the above mentioned questions will actually help you make the right choice in less time. You don’t want to spend weeks looking for the right school only for knowing that your child has different requirements.
Help them do well on their SSATs
The SSAT, or Secondary School Admission Test, is a standardized test required by most high schools across the USA as a part of any hopeful student’s application for an independent school. The exam is designed as a test to measure a student’s ability in core subject areas independent of their academic record.
Your child will get plenty of time to prepare for the test. The key is to focus on their weak areas first, whether it is quantitative or writing. If you focus on the right thing first, the rest comes easy.
There are various resources online that can help your child prepare for the exam right from the start. Along with guides, there are various practice tests that your child can try. This will give him/her the exact idea of how the exam works.
Once you get the results, you can see for yourself where he stands, and if you are not satisfied with the result, you can prepare them to appear for a second attempt. Assisting your child in scoring well in their SSATs will help them get into a good independent school.
Create Your List
You can start broad by building various lists of schools that are in your ideal location, or that offer a good program that is desired by your child, or the ones that meet your financial requirements, or a number of other factors depending on your preferences. This might sound too easy to do, but you’ll be surprised to know how much time it will save for you.
So as discussed, start with preparing a list based on your requirements. There is no use of selecting a school that you later realized is out of budget, right? So spend some good time settling your requirements first. Once you know how much you are willing to invest and how far it is fine with you, you can create a more concrete list.
After you come up with these general lists, you will have to narrow it down. Eliminate any institution that is too far out of your price range or that you know will be difficult for your child to get in. You may keep a few schools on your list that are considered as “reach” schools, but the majority of the list should contain “good fit” schools. A good fit means that the school fits most of your criteria.
Plan Your High School Visits
For most students, high school visits are one of the most important factors since it gives them a real-time experience of their future. Due to its importance, it’s important to plan visits to institutions that have met all of your initial criteria only. You don’t want your child to fall in love with a campus that is completely out of your budget or extremely difficult for them to get into. This will only demotivate them. Also, visiting too many high schools will pinch your pockets.
During campus tours, it’s easy to be amazed by the beauty of the campus and believes that it is the best independent school to attend as tour guides generally put a positive spin on everything. To make the most of these visits, come prepared with a list of relevant questions. Conduct your own research, that is, talk to some students, faculty members, etc., to get a better idea about the institution.
Keep the GPA in mind
Though standardized tests, like the SSATs, are a major influencing factor, the most important thing to get admission to your desired high school is for your child to have a good GPA. It is the ultimate factor in determining a student’s acceptance. Your child might be taking challenging classes, like AP, but colleges will look at how well they have managed their courses and activities in these classes while going through their applications.
If you are not satisfied with your child’s GPA, do not wait for them to get rejected by high school, get help from a professional tutor immediately! Waiting too long can ruin your child’s chances of getting admitted to a good independent school. Tutoring can help your kids work on their weak points. For example, your kid might be an expert in writing, but if he struggles with Quantitative, it can create big issues in the future. So start today.
Lastly, opportunities are endless. The research you do at this point will create a base for the future of your child. Don’t let your child’s career go into the wrong hands.