9th & 10th Grade Information

Enhance Your College Application


9th Graders


  • 9th grade is about exploring newfound opportunities available to you.


  • Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself or try something new. Your exploration will prepare you for college in ways you cannot imagine.


  • Your opportunities increase in 9th grade and the buzz surrounding college increases as well.


  • Before you get wrapped-up in the tangled maze of college chatter, allow me to set the record straight.


3 Common Myths Debunked:

  • The next four years are about building a resume.

    • FALSE! The next four years are about building knowledge and character. In other words, they are about making good decisions that will influence the opportunities available to you down the road.


  • Colleges have a checklist of required activities and accomplishments to offer admission.

    • FALSE! The most vibrant college campuses want to attract students with diverse interests, skills, backgrounds, and experiences. What matters to these universities is not what you do, but how committed you are – to your activities, to your part-time job, even to your family obligations.


  • You need to focus on your strengths and perfect them.

    • FALSE! You should not let your strengths limit you. That might sound strange. How can strengths be limiting? Too often, students let themselves be defined by what they're good at, preventing them from exploring a different subject or activity that they may enjoy even more. 9th grade is the year to take risks. So you’re on the basketball team? Go ahead: audition for a play. You have nothing to lose – and you’ll learn something about yourself, guaranteed.


10th Graders

  • By 10th grade, your strengths are getting ready to blossom – but it’s up to you to sustain your growth by developing new skills and maintaining involvement in activities.


  • In 10th grade, college is on your radar but entrance exams and applications are still on a distant horizon. Because of this, it’s normal to feel like you’ve entered a gray area in the realm of college preparation. After all, you’re realizing that you’re no longer a freshman – but not yet a junior. So, what is sophomore year all about? Growth.


  • It’s important to develop these skills during 10th grade:


  • Comprehension skills.

    • Reading comprehension is a core component of college entrance exams like the ACT and SAT. Both have critical reading sections, which will test your ability to retain and understand written English while simultaneously examining your vocabulary. What’s the best way to sharpen your comprehension skills? Read. Read as much as you can. Whether you enjoy books, blogs, newspapers or magazines, reading is the best way to expand your vocabulary and increase the speed and accuracy at which you absorb information – an ability that will benefit you at testing time, guaranteed.


  • Study skills.

    • By 10th grade, you’re not a stranger to class exams, pop quizzes, or standardized tests. However, the coursework is growing in difficulty and your teachers’ testing styles are different from middle school and 9th grade. Gone are the days of checking-in on nightly homework. Instead, you’re expected to keep-up with weekly reading and studying on your own. It’s up to you to take charge when you don’t understand something – by meeting with your teacher during study hours and assembling peer study groups outside of the classroom. Your grades are important, and your study habits are the foundation of your success.


  • Time management skills.

    • Until now, you’ve grown accustomed to adults and teachers telling you what to do and when to do it. But as a sophomore (and every year in the future), you are responsible for managing your own workload by keeping track of exam dates and assignment deadlines. With this newfound independence, it’s easy to fall-victim to procrastination. My advice to prevent falling behind? Make a daily to-do list and stick to it. Pretend that a test is earlier than it is to avoid night-before-cram-sessions. After all, college is all about balancing your time. The better you are at time management now, the better prepared you’ll be in the future.


  • It’s important to get involved during 10th grade:

    • Get involved in activities.

      • Whether you enjoy sports, music, art, theatre, or clubs, continue to take part in the activities that interest you.

    • Get involved in your community.

    • Volunteering is a great way to help others while discovering who you are and what you care about. Make community service a part of your life.

  • IMPORTANT --- The PSAT will be given to you during October of 2021 of your Junior year here at Oakstone Academy. You can start preparing for the test now. Stop in and see Mr. Kevin in the Guidance Office to discuss the class and prep. materials.

    • Visit here to learn how to get College Board’s online practice.