Grade 10 College Counseling

Sophomore Year

Grade 10:

Academics: Students need to be focused on continuing to grow academically. They need to challenge themselves where appropriate and continue performing well in their classes. Universities look for progress and growth in students’ academic record. At the end of students’ grade 10 year they will sit with PSAT 10, which is the practice SAT specifically for grade 10. SAT is an important college admission test that is necessary for any student applying to the United States. We encourage all students to take the SAT as it’s a helpful to have and can strengthen a student’s application. Additionally, US universities will use strong SAT scores as a reason to award merit based scholarship for international students.

Resources:

Information on the PSAT 10: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/practice/full-length-practice-tests

Personal and Extracurricular: After students have sampled a variety of extracurriculars in their first year of high school, their grade 10 year should have a bit more focus and meaning towards the activities students select. Students should narrow down their choices to around 3-5 meaningful activities in which they have a significant interest. As students move through highschool they should stick with these activities, and ultimately take on leadership positions with them.

College and Career: Second, students need to start thinking about where they would like to attend university. They need to be thoughtful about which countries where they want to apply as countries around the world have different requirements about the courses students take in their grade 11 and 12 years. This leads in to the third consideration that combines the academic domain and the college/career domain. What program is going to the best fit?

Some questions students need to ask themselves and discuss with their parents?

  1. What am I interested in studying? Do I have a focus or do I need more time to decide? If students know exactly what they want to study, places like Europe and the UK can be a solid fit as their Bachelors programs are 3 year programs that focus intently on what the student wants to study. If they don’t know, students need to focus on finding liberal arts universities, and they are found around the world not just in the US. Remember to take advantage of the career interest inventories and search tools found in the resource section for grade 9.

  2. Where do I want to study? This is incredibly important as different universities around the world have different requirements. For example, students wanting to study in Germany can’t take IB Math Studies as it’s not approved. Additionally, there are many different requirements for different majors around the world. It’s on the STUDENT to do the research. Counselors can help guide, but the student needs to be in the driver's seat, figuratively speaking.

  3. Do I NEED the IB Diploma? Do I have the desire to do it? Although students will receive a strong exposure to information regarding the IB at GAA, we encourage students to do their own research. Again, it’s imperative that students are looking up country requirements. There are many countries like the UK, Netherlands and Germany that offer direct entry for students who are FULL IB. This does not mean that there is not an alternate path for those who chose the American Diploma or the American Diploma with Certificates, but those paths will not lead to direct entry, meaning a 3 year degree.

  4. Do I want ADEK equivalency? If students are looking to have their transcript approved by ADEK so that they can study at a public university in the UAE or they plan to work in one of the Gulf countries for a public or government sector job in the future, students will need equivalency. That means, they need to take Arabic until they are grade 12. This is an important consideration in course selection during a student’s grade 10 year.

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