Navigating through high school and beyond can be challenging! We are here to answer any questions that you might have and assist you through this journey.
1. As a student, how can I schedule a meeting with an academic advisor?
To schedule a student only meeting with your counselor, you may come to the counseling office and pick up a “request to see my academic advisor” form. The form is self-explanatory. Stop by the office before school, between classes, or after school to make an appointment.
2. How can my parent make a parent appointment with an academic advisor?
If you would like to schedule an appointment with your students’ academic advisor for information regarding your students’ schedule, college or any other issues that you would like to communicate with the counselor, please call or email the academic advisor to set up an appointment.
3. What do I do if my academic advisor is unavailable when I need to talk to him/her?
If the academic advisor is unavailable, you can do any of the following: Make an appointment using the “request to see my academic advisor” form explaining what you want to discuss. (See above)
If it is an emergency please let the front office know. The secretary will help you find someone you can talk to.
4. What are the first steps I should take if I am having academic trouble with a particular subject?
Your first step should be to talk to your teacher. Many students use tutoring to help them through difficult chapters and/or problems and they also attend tutorial regularly. Be sure to see the academic advisor, if you are struggling in any academic area. The academic advisors can provide you with some tips on time management and study skills.
5. How can I change my schedule (add or drop a class)?
Please fill out the appropriate form and indicated what you are wishing to change. Students have 2 weeks to make changes to their schedules from the start of each semester.
Please Note: Many classes fill and often times we are not able to accommodate schedule changes. Schedule changes are not made to request a certain teacher or placement with friends.
6. How should I choose classes? Generally speaking what courses/ skills do colleges and/or future employers feel students should have upon graduation?
Students should consult with their parents, teachers, and academic advisors in making course selections and selections of levels of courses. While consistency is important, the types of classes you take and the grades you earn are extremely important. We encourage students to seek out new academic experiences and exposure to new ideas. However, please keep in mind that your teachers spend a great deal of time considering your course recommendations and our experience has been that students who follow the teacher recommendations are generally the most successful.
7. How can I get information about colleges and careers?
Please be sure to attend the college nights that are available teach year! We will talk extensively about college and career readiness and next steps.
8. Should I take an Advanced Placement course?
You should take an AP course if you have a real interest in the subject, and have proven yourself capable of handling the workload. Students who take an Advanced Placement course are encouraged to take the AP exam at the end of the school year. Student should not take an AP course merely to have the AP designation on their transcript.
9. What is the school's CEEB code?
Benjamin Franklin High School’s CEEB code is 030756
10. What is the PSAT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and when is it given?
The PSAT/NMSQT is a school-based test and it is given once a year in mid-October to sophomores and juniors during the school day. There is no cost to taking this test. The PSAT/NMSQT has several purposes. It provides practice for the SAT; acts as the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program (juniors only); offers insight, through comprehensive reports, into students’ readiness for college; and helps identify students for Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses. When students take the PSAT/NMSQT they are asked if they would like certain information sent to colleges, universities, and scholarship programs that request it from the College Board. This is the function of Student Search Service. For more information go to www.collegeboard.com. CLHS will host an evening in January to walk you through reading the results of this test.
11. How many times should I take the SAT?
Both junior and senior SAT scores may be submitted. The majority of colleges and universities take the best verbal and best math scores. Your school counselors recommend that students take the SAT in the spring as a junior and October as a senior.
12. What exactly are the SAT Subject Tests?
Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge. Students take the Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects like English, history, mathematics, science and language. The tests are independent of any particular textbook or method of instruction. Not all colleges require the SAT Subject Tests. Make sure you check the college or university’s requirements when considering your application. For more information, log onto www.collegeboard.com
13. How should I prepare for the SAT?
The best preparation for the SAT is to continue with a strong course selection. Reviewing the PSAT results will also help guide your preparation. There are a variety of test prep materials now available to students.
14. Should I take the ACT?
The ACT Assessment is designed to measure high school students’ college readiness and is made up of multiple-choice tests that cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. We suggest you take both the SAT and ACT practice tests and compare your performance. .
15. What do colleges look for?
First and foremost, the college admissions people will evaluate your academic record. They will consider the rigor and variety of the courses you took. They will note the grades you earned in various subjects, your grade point average and your cumulative academic grade point average. Your academic record is almost always the most important factor in college admissions. It is never too late to improve it. Senior year grades are also very important. Second, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT are also very important. Before taking the test, most students familiarize themselves with the kinds of questions they will face and practice their test-taking skills. Third, your leadership in various organizations and/or community service is also highly important.
Counselor and teacher recommendations often are important factors. Some colleges do not ask for teacher recommendations, and a few do not require any recommendations. It is important that you follow the college instructions. Due to the high volume, the counselors and the registrar request that any and all applications that require a letter of recommendation and/or transcripts requests be presented to the counselor or registrar by the end of October at the latest.
The application form that you submit may help or hurt your chances substantially. A sloppy, ill-composed application may end your candidacy at a given college. Your essay/personal statement should be written by you in your best prose—no grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or stylist errors.
Again, your nonacademic activities and accomplishments, both in school and out, can also be a significant factor in college admissions. This tends to be the situation more often with selective colleges and definitely with the University of California. Be sure to let the colleges know about your participation in clubs, sports, athletics, leadership roles, community service, notable achievements, and jobs—both volunteer and paid. Colleges look for well-rounded, motivated, energetic leaders. Intensive participation in a few activities or projects usually is more significant than lesser involvement in a larger number. Be specific and detailed about important activities.