3 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor About College

Making the time to plan your college admissions can put your on the right track

3 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor About College

The college admissions process can be full of uncertainty. To start, you likely have a multitude of questions you need answered in order to stay on track. Luckily, your high school guidance counselor can be a great resource. Questions to ask your guidance counselor about college can include whether you’re making adequate academic progress, how to maximize your college admissions essay, and strategies to create a test prep schedule.

When embarking on the college admissions journey, it’s vital to stay on top of all required tasks. A great way to do this is to utilize the resources available to you. Ask your guidance counselor these three questions about college:

1. “Am I making adequate academic progress?”

Sit down with your guidance counselor to review your academic progress thus far. Depending on where you are in your schooling, there may be different tasks that you should be completing. For example, if you’re in the spring of your junior year, you should be making an ACT or SAT prep plan and researching upcoming test dates. You may also begin looking at potential colleges and setting up campus tours for the summer. Discuss specific tasks that you should be completing in the coming months, so you can make a plan for success and avoid missing any important deadlines.

Additionally, be sure you’re taking all necessary classes to stay on track for graduation. For instance, if you’re planning to enter into a STEM program in college, do you have time in your schedule to complete all the necessary math and science classes? Create a plan to ensure you complete all academic requirements— and don’t forget to incorporate any relevant electives in order to support your college application.

2. “How do I make the most of my college essay?”
Your college application essay is your opportunity to illustrate to potential schools what sets you apart from the crowd. Speak with your guidance counselor to develop strategies to effectively tackle your admissions essay. Your counselor can help you analyze your essay and make sure that the content you include will impress admissions officers. It’s important for you to compose an essay—regardless of the prompt—that shows the admissions committee your unique qualities and what you bring to the table.

3. “How do I create an effective test prep plan?”
An essential aspect of college admissions is sitting for any relevant academic tests. Ask your guidance counselor to help you find the schedule of upcoming tests, and plan your prep timeline accordingly. Your guidance counselor will likely advise you to select a testing date that is far enough in advance that you have enough time to study for the exam. Your guidance counselor may also be able to help you find resources online and through your school to prepare for the test. Additionally, ask your guidance counselor if it makes sense for you to enroll in an AP course or to sit for an SAT Subject Test. They will be able to give you personalized recommendations regarding which exams will give you an advantage when applying to college.

Set aside time in your schedule this semester to sit down with your guidance counselor to jumpstart your college admissions timeline. Ask any questions you have regarding the college application process, including whether or not your high school academics have you on the right track, how you can compose a well-rounded college essay, and ways you can create a test prep plan. Making the time to honestly analyze your college plans can help ensure you’re on the right track for admissions success.

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