Nowadays everything is about tests. Tests can get you a gateway to AP classes you want and even scholarships for college. Now if you want to go to college after high school that is great! Getting a good gpa is important and can be easy but challenging. If you give it your all in the classes and take as much extra credit offered then you can get a high gpa.
1. Take SAT/ACT Tests in High School- You can do this before high school but its never too early to learn how to take the SAT/ACT. If you are a bad test taker (like I am) then I highly recommend you practice the states testing exam over the summer and ace it. If you didn't do well or think you can get a better score then try next summer. It is crucially important to get scholarships because college is expensive and one of the most important things to colleges is your testing score. Please take it early if you are a bad test taker. You do not want to be stuck with redoing the test, like I did, your senior year of high school.
2. Should You Do AP Classes? It all depends. Right now all colleges care about is your gpa so if you believe you can take on the challenge of AP classes and do not think your grade is going to suffer then I say do it! I never did AP classes and got into a great school without having to pay barley any money. But if you want to go to an ivy league school then yes take AP classes and save you some money in the future.
3. Its Important to Know What You Want to Become- You do not want to be an engineer and take a lot of AP history classes right? That will serve no purpose in your future and will be a waste of time. Know I'm not saying choose a specific job but just a general area of the field. Do you like math? How about math and science? Do you like history and writing? Whichever topics you like stick to those.
4. Apply for scholarships- Its never to early to be on the lookout for scholarships.
5. Volunteer- Volunteering is important to colleges. But some colleges will still accept you even if you did not volunteer. I got into a college without any volunteer history. But I was embarrassed for having no volunteer experiences.
6. Play Sports or Get a Job or Both! College scouts are really interested on how unique you are and what you do on your free time.
These are tips I wished I would've known before coming into high school and I hope it has provided you some helpful information as well.