How to Prepare Yourself for College

Prepare yourself for college

Say you request information about a school only to find you don’t meet all of the college's admission requirements. That doesn’t mean you’re not smart enough to go to college. You might need to take a few more steps to meet the requirements. It will take some time and effort, but you can make yourself college-ready.

For some common barriers to college preparation, and ways to overcome them, read on.

I Don’t Have a High School Diploma

It would be ridiculous to expect older adults to return to a high school campus for their diploma. Fortunately, you can always turn to the General Educational Development test, or GED. Students who take and pass the GED test are awarded a certificate that is the equivalent of a high school diploma. The idea that a GED is somehow inferior is a common misconception. In fact, almost all universities accept the GED as valid for admission.

To prepare for the GED exam, start by searching online for GED testing locations in your area. Depending on where you live, you’ll find that the test is offered on different dates and times throughout the year. You’ll also want to brush up on your writing and arithmetic skills, so it’s wise to buy a workbook and start practicing.

I Don’t Speak or Write in English

The English language can be tough, but you may be surprised by how many ways there are to learn. Almost every community college will offer some courses for people who are learning English. Usually, you can take one class at a community college without having to commit to a four-year degree program. Many public libraries also provide English classes for free.

And of course, the secret to mastering a new language is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Once you’ve built up your English skills, you can prove you’re ready for college-level work by passing a written test such as the GED or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.

I’m Too Young

Some colleges and universities have minimum age requirements. But just because you’re not old enough doesn’t mean you have to postpone your education. You can start by attending your local community college first, then transfer the credits you’ve earned to your intended university. That way you won’t waste any time. Universities set up their enrollment requirements for a very good reason – to ensure that new students are academically prepared to succeed. Don’t let the entry requirements intimidate you. Even if you don’t qualify today, with some more work, you may qualify in the future.

Written by: Michael Mussman
Michael Mussman is Editor of Forward Thinking, the Ashford University blog.

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