Academic Planning

By Alyssa Wood

KEY Academic Planner & Education Department Manager

The process of learning is valuable. Education expands the mind and teaches individuals how to make informed choices when it comes to the myriad of important life decisions needing to be made as one progresses through life.   One of those early pinnacle choices is choosing a university. Students today have the pressures to consider the right-fit school and what is required to get there. The two main pillars to consider when applying to University are one’s academic profile and one’s personal profile. Western education emphasizes the personal profile, but academics are equally as vital and it is important to understand why, how it can affect your application, and what can be done to increase your likelihood of acceptance.

Strong academics are not just key for consideration but are also advantageous. First and foremost, a solid academic profile gives you the most freedom of choice, as different schools have different expectations for minimum requirements. More and more students are applying to university each year and grades and test scores are the first things considered when choosing who to accept and who to reject. From there, meeting the minimum requirements will have your application looked at, but high and consistent academics will give you a competitive edge. In addition, academic excellence provides you with opportunities for scholarships and academic recognition and trains you to utilize good academic study habits that lead to better performance in university.

The admissions essay is the hybrid representation of a student’s academic and personal profiles. The essay shows a student’s critical thinking, creativity and it is where one’s uniqueness can stand out, which supports their personal profile.  Academically, it shows one’s grasp of the English language through grammar, vocabulary and essay structure. English is the foundation for acceptance into any university in North America. As the primary used language in school, English is often the most heavily weighted academic score in the application process. A strong representation of a proper academically written essay, along with a strong English grade at school, can ultimately be the deciding factor for acceptance into university.

Grade 11 and the first half of grade 12 are the deciding academic years for university applications, meaning good grades in these years are fundamental for success. Consistency or positive growth in one’s grades are also important.   Students who suffer in a single subject, but excel in others can be perceived as academic risks and it is one of the most prominent reasons for rejection from a prospective university. This is where academic planning becomes important. Starting early gives students the chance to target their weaknesses and get support in core subjects to improve suffering grades.   It is not enough to go into grade 11 already having had a poor academic career, as noteworthy improvement takes time and commitment. Early planning and being prepared helps avoid the nearly impossible task of changing for the better one’s academic profile in critical grade years. Academic planning also helps determine academic electives that highlight one’s skill set to give them a competitive edge, while avoiding presenting with unnecessary suffering grades. Overall, preparation and academic planning are fundamental to success.

Academic grades matter as they are one of the decisive factors for acceptance into university. They represent opportunities and personal academic consistency.   They are a trainable thing to achieve with hard work and academic planning, meaning everyone has an opportunity to succeed. Education is valuable on both a professional and personal level, and by committing to doing your best and working hard, one is put on the simplest path to excellence.