FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s) for SOPHOMORES
Q: How do I know if my course choices meet the UC/CSU eligibility requirements?
A: You go to the UC “a-g” list and validate that your eligibility requirements are being met. This list is important as a reference for students and parents. The UC “a-g” list provides a list of specific courses which are taught at Drake and meet the eligibility criteria for admission. 99% of courses required for graduation are a-g approved.
Q: How many more years of math are required for college eligibility?
A: The math requirement for four year colleges includes:
· Advanced Algebra
Most competitive universities (including the UC’s) recommend that students who have completed these requirements by the end of junior year continue with college preparatory math in senior year. These options include: Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, Statistics, AP Statistics.
Q: How many more years of science are required for college eligibility?
A: Most colleges require two years of lab science for minimum eligibility. Drake lab science courses are listed on the UC a-g list. UC’s and competitive colleges recommend that students take lab science through senior year. Chemistry and Physics require placement in or completion of Advanced Algebra.
Q: How do I find out about the AP/Honors classes?
A: Review the AP/Honors Matrix for entrance requirements. Make sure to attend all meetings so that you have as many options available as possible.
Q: What exactly is an AP course?
A: An AP course is a college level course taught on the high school campus. The College Board (which administers the PSAT and SAT exams), also administers the AP program. AP courses use a standard curriculum tied to a comprehensive final examination. More than 1,400 U.S. colleges grant up to a full year's credit to students who earn high scores on AP exams.
Aside from earning college credit, Drake offers weighted grades for AP classes. AP courses provide an opportunity for students to earn college credits early (some colleges give credit for AP courses) and demonstrate a willingness to take on a challenge. They also demonstrate to colleges how a student will perform in a demanding academic atmosphere.
Q: How many AP courses should I take junior year?
A: Choosing to take an AP or Honors class based on student interest or a specific aptitude generally results in greater success (fantastic!). Choices based upon a boost in GPA generally result in greater stress for students (argh!).
We advise students to always strive for excellence and take a challenging curriculum: the most rigorous (AP/honors) classes you can take - without overburdening yourself. Take into consideration the fact that 24 hour days are often chock full of other activities: dance class, drama rehearsal, saxophone practice, athletic competition, trips to the yogurt shop with friends, reading poetry for fun, walking the family dog, biking with your little sister, etc. Those are all important components of a successful teenage life. Try to figure out what is IMPORTANT to you, what is a priority in terms of college planning, and what is reasonable to accomplish in your 24 hour day.
Q: What if I am planning on college athletics and want to know which courses meet NCAA requirements?
A: You can check out the NCAA Guide for College-Bound Students for course requirements (because they are different than college requirements sometimes). Also, Ms Neumaier, College & Career Specialist, is a pro at this and will help you with process & timeline information.
Q: I wonder about the TEAM program. Where can I find more information on that?
A: TEAM is a one year academic and experiential program open to juniors. More information is available on the TEAM website.
Q: I am already wondering about taking a Gap Year to travel abroad and figure myself out a little before I commit to a college. Where can I find information on that?
A: Each year, Lisa Neumaier, College & Career Specialist, hosts a Gap Year Fair.
Q: Do I want to join an Academy or just take a traditional schedule? Pros & Cons
A: This is a very personal choice. Think about the experience you have had in your SLC the past two years. Did you enjoy the sense of community? Shared experiences and challenges? Do you enjoy collaborating with others? Do you prefer to work independently? Is there an Academy that seems to have a particular focus that is uniquely suited to your interests? If you feel that one of the Academies is interesting and will suit you, then it is probably a great idea. Both Academies include college prep courses, so you will remain on track for college no matter your choice.
Q: In junior year, is there some checklist of things I should be doing to prepare for college?
A: Indeed there is. Review THIS LIST to stay on track.
Q: How do I sign up to attend a college admission session at Drake?
A: Over 100 college admission reps visit Drake each year and all of these are announced under the Colleges tab on Naviance. Once on the Colleges tab, click on the link to View all upcoming college visits and click on the Sign up button for any visit you would like to attend.
Q: How many college admission sessions should I attend during junior year?
A: It is recommended that you attend at least five sessions your junior year. Previewing a broad spectrum of possibilities may open your eyes to opportunities you did not realize you have. The best college is the one that is the best fit for you.
Q: Are there practice SAT or ACT tests offered at Drake?
A: Yes, there are several each year and they are offered through the College & Career Center. Lisa Neumaier, College & Career Specialist, sends emails to students and their parents with all pertinent dates and information so stay on top of your emails.
Q: When do I apply for Leadership, Link Crew or Peer Resource?
A: In spring, there will be an application process for each of these programs. Please see Ms Galli for Leadership, Mr Thelin for Link Crew, or Ms Winkler for Peer Resource. They can answer questions and provide more detailed information.
Last updated by Sheila Souder on 02/18/2015