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Preparing for College

Program Of High School Studies

Having decided to attend college and possibly become a premedical student, you should select your high school program to include courses that meet at least the minimum requirements for admission to a liberal arts college. The program should therefore include:

  • English: 4 years
  • Laboratory science: 2 years
  • Modern foreign or classical language: 2 years
  • Mathematics: 2½ years
  • Social studies: 2 years

You should enlarge upon these requirements as much as is feasible by taking electives to obtain a well-rounded academic background. Concentrate in a science with the aim ofmaking your other college courses less demanding, and thereby enhance your chances of securing higher grades in all your courses. This approach can help strengthen your science course average, which is one of the factors in the medical school selection process.

Mastering good study habits and computer literacy are essential elements that should be achieved in high school, since they will have a significant impact on your success in college. Set up regular hours for study, learn how to read quickly and effectively, and learn how to take lecture notes and develop test-taking skills. Good achievement in your academic studies, especially in science, should be a major challenge of your high school education.

During high school you should participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including athletics and science clubs, especially premedical groups such as the Future Physician Club or Medical Explorer Post of the Boy Scouts of America. While in high school you should acquire a good ability to communicate — both orally and in writing. Seek help if there is a serious problem in these areas. Your summers should be spent profitably and should involve activities that bring you into active contact with people. Working in a hospital or laboratory may also provide some useful experience, but such activities are probably best deferred until the college years.

Take the appropriate college entrance examination required by the colleges you plan to apply to — either SAT I or the ACT (American College Testing program). If your scores are in the upper percentiles, you should feel encouraged about your potential success.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesGuide to Medical & Dental SchoolsPreparing for College - High School: An Overview, Program Of High School Studies, Evaluating A College, Selecting A College