Do your best in class and take the right classes
1.  Enroll in the right courses.  It is wise to apply yourself in high-school-level courses that you are able to complete in middle school.  Many school districts in South Dakota allow students to take Algebra 1 in 8th grade, allowing you to take additional math courses (AP or Dual credit) while in high school that can count for college credit.  If you are ready, take advantage of these opportunities and perform your best because many colleges and universities count them as part of the high school grade-point average even though they are taken in middle school.

South Dakota Public Institution Prep Model of Study

Grade Math  English  Social Science  Laboratory Science 
 8 Algebra I English

 9 Geometry English American History  Physical or Earth Science
 10 Algebra II English World History Biology
 11 Trigonometry English American Government Chemistry
 12 Advanced Senior Math English Economics, Geography, Psychology, etc. Physics

2. Set aside time each day to read for enjoyment.  

The ability to comprehend the material you read will be an essential skill that can improve your success in high school and college.  Find time to read for enjoyment so that reading doesn't become just another monotonous activity that you come to dread.  David Storper, president of Bethesda-based Prep U Tutoring, said, “The common denominator among the very best test-takers is a strong background with books.  This is usually a habit that starts at a very early age. . . The problem that many students face is that they are only reading assigned books from school, which can be less than inspiring.”

3. Develop practical organization skills. Your ability to manage a schedule and meet deadlines may not seem to have much to do with college, but it does.  You will find you will be self-sufficient enough to juggle a college workload while doing all the other necessary chores of life.

4. Take advantage of any opportunities to visit public universities or technical institutes in South Dakota.  If you find yourself on campus, set aside time to explore and become comfortable with what it will be like to be a college student. 

5. Take a foreign language. If you are curious about the world or other cultures, then learning a foreign language can provide you with valuable exposure.  Most middle schools do not require a foreign language, but nearly all offer some classes that can be useful for better preparing you to take similar courses in high school.
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