As I tell students entering junior year, you are not going to start playing violin now and while your grades are still really important, you have two years of grades that will be part of your cumulative GPA.
What is the one thing that you can do change your college admissions’ chances?
A few years ago, The One Thing, a book that posits that we should focus on our energy on the one thing that can change our lives. Scattered attention on half a dozen things often leads to mediocrity. I thought of this in relation to many of our college counseling clients throughout Shoreline, Connecticut.
When we meet for college counseling, the students are typically in the second half of junior year. Usually our meetings occur after Connecticut high schools release PSAT scores which typically is in mid-December. The student’s activities can be increased incrementally. The soccer player can become captain and the violinist can make Eastern Connecticut’s orchestra. But it is rare for someone to take up soccer or start playing violin junior year. Grades, of course, should always be a focus. But students, with 2.5 years of grades in the books can only do so much to shift their GPA.
The one thing that students can change dramatically: test scores. Through the years of working with students throughout Connecticut, we know these shifts can radically change one’s entire college prospects.