Setting Yourself Up for Academic Success in High School

May 23, 2017
Cynthia Kaui

Set yourself up for academic success in high school.

Academic success is about much more than test scores.

High school is the perfect opportunity to gain an educational edge early on. Going the extra mile with your academics, extracurricular activities, and professional activities, will set you up for academic success in high school, college, and beyond.

Academic success is within your control  

When it comes to achieving any goal, it’s important to remember that success is not just the result of luck and intelligence, but rather effort and persistence. Thus, how well you do in school is more in your control than you realize. For example, your teachers are an invaluable resource, but they are only able to provide help and assistance to the extent you are willing to seek it out. You should also take the initiative to form study groups, get tutored, and participate in extracurricular activities to support your studies. If you qualify based off of your scholastic grades, you can qualify to be a member of your California Scholarship Federation club or National Honors Society club.

Develop your character as well as your brain

There is more to a strong applicant than strong academics. Being academically intelligent is critical, but someone who is well-rounded and has soft skills stands out for college admissions and beyond. According to CollegeBoard, “Admission officers know that what potential students do with their time outside of school reveals important personal dimensions that statistics can’t show.”

Extracurriculars give you the edge

The best way to develop important people skills, communication skills, life skills, and enhance your personality is through participating in extracurricular activities. In high school, there is a huge list of opportunities available, such as student government, sports, and special interests clubs. You can also seek out professional opportunities, such as internships, volunteering and part-time jobs. These will teach you time management skills, prioritizing, and working in a diverse team, to name a few.

Baby steps lead to big progress

You don’t have to be a genius or at the top of your class to achieve academic success. Small steps made consistently over time are the most powerful agents of change. Thus, it’s important to keep your human limitations in mind and not try to push yourself too hard. While extracurricular activities are good, quality is always more important than quantity. You don’t have to join a club for every interest you have. Pick one or two to invest in and do them well.   

Maintain a healthy school-life balance

Above all, keep in mind that your success in any area of your life–whether it be your career, relationships, health, etc–are all connected. For instance, if your physical health is suffering, your grades and relationships will suffer too. Thus, it is so important to find time to invest in your health and in your relationships. Remember, no amount of success is ever worth neglecting what’s truly important in life.


To help set you up for academic success, and achieve that school-life balance, check out our Live Online SAT Essentials Course.  


Cynthia Kaui Cynthia Kanoelani Kaui is obsessed with penguins, Blair Waldorf, 'Parks and Rec,' anime, and the performing arts.

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