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Preparing for College

Preparation is an essential ingredient for success. The earlier you begin to prepare for college, the better off you will be when it comes time to start your higher education. You'll want to make sure that you prepare yourself spiritually, academically, and financially. You should also strive to be well rounded by participating in additional uplifting activities outside of school and work. On this page you will find helpful tips and information that you should take into consideration as you prepare to further your education.

Tip 1: Live the Honor Code

The Honor Code is a set of rules that students commit to follow every year before attending school. It requires that students live by set spiritual standards. With the Honor Code, students from each of the Church schools enjoy a high standard of living among peers with shared values.

In addition to the dress and grooming standards of the Honor Code, we encourage you to be an active participant in church services. This means attending church on a regular basis, fulfilling your callings, and serving those around you.

Click here to view the Honor Code.

Tip 2: Attend Seminary

Attend seminary—it is the most important course you can take in high school. Four years of seminary attendance is strongly encouraged by all of the admissions offices at Church schools. Seminary will give you gospel knowledge and insights that will be invaluable in college and beyond. Attending seminary will also help to prepare you for the secular and religious study you will encounter in college and at institutes of religion.

Tip 3: Take Recommended High School Courses

High school students should enroll in college preparatory courses as freshmen and continue to take them through their senior year. To be most prepared for the ACT and SAT exams and for college-level work, it is recommended that high school class schedules include the following:

  • 4 or more years of mathematics
  • 4 or more years of English or literature
  • 2-3 years of laboratory science
  • 2 years of history or government
  • 2 or more years of a foreign language

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Courses

We strongly encourage you to enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses where available. Here are a few of the major benefits of taking these college-prep courses:

  • Because these courses are measured by a standardized measurement, students who take these courses will receive extra consideration in the admissions process when applying to any CES school.
  • Church schools offer varying levels of college credit based on AP and IB end-of-year test scores. Depending on the number and type of courses taken, students can receive university credit even before graduating from high school.
  • Research has shown that students who take these college-prep courses are better prepared for rigorous college courses.
  • Students who take AP or IB courses gain support from motivated peers and mentors.

Remember to do your very best in all your classes at school. Your grades are not only a reflection of your level of knowledge, but they also show prospective colleges the amount of effort you are willing to put into schoolwork.

The decision to take AP or IB courses should be considered carefully by the student, parents, and a school counselor. Students and parents may wish to talk to an AP or IB teacher or an AP or IB coordinator to learn more about the difficulties of a particular course. Be sure to discuss the workload and the preparation required for the course.

Tip 4: Take the ACT and/or the SAT Exams

The ACT and the SAT are standardized exams that test your knowledge over various academic topics. Many higher-education institutions use these exams to gauge how well the student may perform once admitted. It is important to find out how each CES school judges your ACT and SAT scores and to plan accordingly.

General Testing Information

Be sure to take the ACT and/or SAT toward the end of your junior year so that you can take it again at the beginning of your senior year. Because CES Admissions considers only your highest composite scores, you should consider taking the ACT and/or SAT multiple times. Studies show that students who retake the ACT have a 55 percent chance of increasing their previous score by 1 to 3 points. Those points may not seem like much, but they could make all the difference when it comes time to apply for admission and scholarships.

It is recommended that the ACT and/or SAT be taken at least two months before the application deadline for admission. This will allow time for the institutions of your choice to receive the exam scores before the deadline.

The ACT

The standard ACT is a set of four multiple-choice exams which cover English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four multiple-choice exams and a writing exam. At this time, CES schools do not consider the writing section of the ACT exam. However, we recommend students take it.

The SAT

The SAT Reasoning Test is a measure of the critical thinking skills you'll need for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well you analyze and solve problems—skills you learned in school that you'll need in college. The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors.

Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200–800, with two writing sub-scores for multiple-choice and an essay. At this time, CES schools do not consider the writing section of the SAT exam. However, we recommend students take it.

Tip 5: Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Spend your time wisely. Find activities outside of school that will help you to grow and build on your interests. Get involved in a variety of services opportunities, athletics, employment opportunities, clubs, organizations, and leadership opportunities. Many college admission offices give special consideration to students who have played a key role in activities outside of class.