Article by: Aspire Atlantic

Aspire Atlantic shares some important things to bear in mind for grade 9, if you are interested to study in the USA

You made it through your first year of high school and you are no longer the smallest fish in the pond. Grade 9 is the first year of a very important journey into adulthood. What lies ahead is a four-year audition for university, and it helps to start thinking about what is needed to get into the world’s best colleges.

Here are some important things to bear in mind for grade 9, if you are interested to study in the USA (post-matric).

Subject choices

Seek advice from teachers and counsellers on which subjects need to be taken for the degree you are interested in. Athletes who want to study and play sport in the USA need to be aware of the NCAA subject requirements; making bad choices here can derail a college career. Academics are really important in Grade 9 as USA colleges don’t just look at your grade 11 and 12 marks but they look at your GPA from Grade 9 to 12.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Get into the habit of having a schedule

Most students have smartphones. Use the calendar on your devices to set daily reminders where homework, sports, reading and relaxation times are scheduled.


College application essays often ask students who their favourite authors are and what publications they are interested in. We (at Aspire Atlantic) advise students to read books, newspapers, magazines and blogs. Choose what engages you and remember to look up unfamiliar words. When done, write a short summary and describe how you felt and why you felt that way.

Get involved

Stanford University recently came out to South Africa and gave a talk at Crawford College in Sandton. One of the biggest parts of admission into Stanford was not the marks but the students’ involvement outside the classroom. Top colleges are not looking for top academics only; they also want to see students developing their talents and interests outside the classroom. You need to have five areas of involvement. Here is an example: U15-A soccer team, 83% academic average, 25 hours of community service per year, a member of the school play and writer for the school blog. Your high school extracurricular activities may be the detail that catches your dream college’s eye.