• Academic Preparation
     
     
    Take a Rigorous Courseload
    As the university admission process becomes increasingly competitive, students must rise to the top, completing as many advanced courses as possible and appropriate during their high school years. The nation’s most elite colleges will expect “Four Years of the Five Academics”, meaning four years each of English, History, Mathematics, Sciences, and Language Other Than English. It is of extreme importance that a student takes advantage of the most rigorous courses offered at their school, in which the student can be successful.
     
    Improve Your Study Habits
    Studying encompasses far more than cramming from a fill-in-the-blank study guide. Taking Focus style notes from lectures and the text, collaborating with classmates to ensure your notes are accurate, clarifying any confusion by meeting with your teacher or attending tutoring, reviewing areas you haven’t memorized, and quizzing yourself from your Focus Notes questions are all ways to improve your scores. Remember: the test is easy when you know all the answers! But good study habits include time management (not procrastinating), organization, and dedication to your own success.
     
    Read
    Reading a wide variety of topics and genres will benefit your writing as you are exposed to more sophisticated sentence structures. Reading current events and following politics broadens your perspective of the world. Stop by the library and ask to see the professional journals; use these to develop your knowledge about your intended career. The more diverse selections you make, the more vocabulary you will learn. While much of the reading you have done until high school was fiction, more than 90% of the reading you do in college is non-fiction.
     
    A - G Requirements
    The University of California developed the A-G Requirements as an approved pattern of study to ensure readiness for the university’s freshman coursework. This is meant as an assurance that a student who has completed the A-G Requirements has significant content knowledge in a broad range of courses, and a well-rounded perspective. While minimum requirements are listed below, additional years of math, lab science, and languages other than English make a candidate more competitive. Completing English 1A/1B and College Algebra at the community college while in high school will also benefit most students.
     
     A - G Requirements
     A 1 Year of World History and 1 Year of US History or AP European History
     B 4 Years of English Language Arts 
     C 3+ Years of Mathematics (Algebra 1 or higher)
     D 2+ Years of Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
     E 2+ Years of a Language Other than English (A Level 1 course at Norco College counts as 2 Years at a University.)     
     F 1+ Year(s) of a Fine Art
     G
     1 Additional Year of area A-F
    A 3 unit College Course can also fulfill this requirement. (Check to make sure the college course transfers before enrolling.)
     
     *Note: All courses must be completed with a C or higher to count towards completing the A - G Requirements.
     *Are you interested in whether or not a course might be A - G approved, visit the UC Doorways website to see.
     
     
    Tips for Maximizing Each Year of Your Education
     
     
    Freshmen - 9th Grade
    By taking five academic courses during your Freshman year, you are putting yourself on the right track for college admissions. Ideally the five academics would be English, History, Math, Lab Science, and Foreign Language, with the AVID 9 elective as your sixth class.
    • Aim for As and Bs in every class. Any grade lower than a C must be repeated for college acceptance.
    • Join a service oriented club, such as Key Club, Interact, or an environmental club.
    • Start volunteering. Check www.californiavolunteers.org for opportunities in your area.
    • Read for pleasure (magazines, newspapers, novels, etc) – it’s the easiest way to increase your vocabulary and improve your writing style. The more advanced material you select, the better.

    Sophomore - 10th Grade
    Take five academic courses during your sophomore year, depending on what your schedule allows. Ideally your schedule would include AVID 10, English, History, Math, Lab Science, and the second year of Foreign Language.
    • Aim for As and Bs in every class. Any grade lower than a C must be repeated for college acceptance.
    • Take the PSAT in October. Take a Practice ACT or Practice SAT if offered at another time throughout the year.
    • Try to hold an office/position to build your leadership experiences. Run for a Student Body position if interested.  Consider joining School Site Council or be a student representative to the Booster Club.
    • Continue volunteering. Check www.californiavolunteers.org for opportunities related to your intended career.
    • Read for pleasure (magazines, newspapers, novels, etc) – Consider reading non-fiction related to your intended career.
     
    Junior - 11th Grade
    Meet with a guidance counselor to review graduation requirements. In addition to the coursework you need to be college eligible, you may also need to take P.E., health, or other classes so that you can graduate. Your junior year schedule should include English, History, Math, Lab Science, Fine Art or a third year of Foreign Language, and AVID 11.

    You must earn a grade of C or better in every class during Junior year, as colleges will make their initial admissions decisions based on your transcript showing ninth-eleventh grades. Summer School is a good option for PE or other graduation requirements you have not had time to fulfill while taking a rigorous college preparatory courseload.

    • Take the PSAT in October, and any Practice SAT or ACT tests offered.
    • Take both the ACT and SAT during the months of March, April, May or June of your Junior Year.
    • Visit colleges with friends or family. Be sure to take pictures of yourself on the campus.
    • Maintain your membership in service clubs, and participate in meaningful service projects in your community.
    • Continue volunteering. Check www.californiavolunteers.org for opportunities related to your intended career.
    • Select more advanced readings, especially Classic literature and current non-fiction titles. Pay attention to world news and politics to increase your awareness.
     
    Senior - 12th Grade
    Continue taking a rigorous courseload during the senior year. In addition to AVID 12, you will will be taking English, History (usually Government/Civics and Economics), a Fine Art, P.E., and an additional year of Lab Science or Advanced Mathematics.
    • Take the ACT and SAT during the months of August, September, or October to improve your score.
    • Visit colleges with friends or family. Be sure to take pictures of yourself on the campus. Research colleges both nearby and out-of-state.
    • Begin applying to private colleges in September. Start with www.commonapp.org
    • Begin applications to Cal State and UC campuses in October at www.csumentor.edu and www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply
    • Work on major scholarship applications such as QuestBridge (www.questbridge.org), Gates Millenium (www.gmsp.org), and Dell Scholars (www.dellscholars.org).
    • Search for other scholarships by asking family members if their employers give scholarships.
    • Complete the FAFSA between October 1st and March 2nd.
    • Submit your Cal Grant GPA verification form well before the March 2nd deadline.
    • Apply to the Local Scholarships offered at school.
     
Last Modified on June 6, 2016