Back to Kings Life index

Your Simple Guide to Academic Preparation

17 Aug, 2023
Your Simple Guide to Academic Preparation

Successful academic preparation is multifaceted, demanding a comprehensive approach that goes beyond simply performing well on tests and assignments.

From engaging in rigorous study habits and developing skills such as critical thinking, to getting involved in extracurricular activities, a student’s academic preparation lays the foundation for a successful and fulfilling university experience.

In this article. we explore the many components of academic preparation, and all its benefits.

Table of Contents

What is Academic Preparation

What are the Advantages of Academic Preparation?

Five Steps to Prepare for University

Expert Advice for University Success

What is Academic Preparation?

Academic preparation for college helps students to familiarize themselves with the challenges of learning in a typical higher education setting, and includes skills development in areas such as study skills, time management and goal setting.

On a wider level, it also gives students the “college knowledge” necessary to understand how the higher education system operates, including an understanding of the college admissions process, financial aid, and successful functioning in college.

College readiness requires a level of maturity that will allow students to successfully navigate the abundance of freedom, responsibilities, and opportunities associated with being a first-time college student.

Image source: Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Academic preparation occurs throughout high school in America, particularly in junior and senior year. Within the context of high school, academic preparation encompasses gaining good high school grades and grade point average (GPA), preparing for standardized tests such as the SAT, and competing a high school diploma, in addition to learning important study skills.

Additionally, students can seek guidance from educational professionals, such as guidance counselors or college advisors, to ensure their academic preparation aligns with their desired major.

Academic Preparation programs

In American high schools there is also a specific Advanced Placement, or AP, a program offered by the College Board that allows high school students to take college-level courses and exams. These courses are designed to provide academic preparation that goes beyond the standard curriculum, challenging students with rigorous academic material that helps them develop critical thinking and analytical skills. AP courses cover a range of subjects, from sciences and math courses to history and literature, and offer opportunities for students to earn college credit, placement, or both.

Participating in the AP program shows dedication and commitment to academic excellence, and can help students stand out in the college admissions process and beyond.

For international students who have completed high school or secondary school in their own country, but want to do their degree at an American university or community college, there are specific Academic Preparation programs available.

At Kings, for example, the GO: Prepared Academic Preparation program is taught on campus at our university partners and includes English language development, college credits, academic skills, university visits, and a Global leadership course.

What are the Advantages of Academic Preparation?

Being adequately prepared for university academically has lots of advantages. It can help students excel in their studies, feel more confident in themselves and be prepared for future academic challenges, and beyond that, a career.

1. Higher academic achievement

Students who are well-prepared for their college degree are more likely to excel in their university goals. This means to higher grades and deeper knowledge of the subjects.

2. Greater self-confidence

Extensive academic preparation means that students will be confident in their ability to do well in their degree studies, which means they’ll have a calm approach to studying and submitting assignments as an undergraduate student. That, in turn, spells a happy study experience.

3. A smoother transition to university

Having useful academic skills makes the transition from high school student to university student much more seamless in the first year. Whether students plan to pursue higher education or advanced training, a strong academic foundation is essential for success.

4. Preparedness for a successful career

The skills and knowledge gained as part of the academic preparation process are invaluable not only when getting a university education, but beyond that in the workplace too. These include, but are not limited to critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication.

Five Steps to Prepare for University

By following these five steps, students can prepare for university with confidence and set themselves up for academic success.

1. Define academic goals

When it comes to achieving academic success, setting clear and achievable goals is very important for effective study and is therefore an important part of academic preparation.

Academic goals give direction and purpose to studies and keep students focused on what they want to accomplish. It also helps them identify potential obstacles and develop strategies to overcome them to make the best progress. To these ends, defining academic goals can serve as an excellent roadmap of a student's academic journey, keeping them motivated and committed to achieving their aspirations.

2. Familiarize yourself with academic resources

Prior to embarking on a bachelor’s degree it’s useful for students to start to familiarize themselves with the types of academic resources that they’ll be using on a regular basis for college-level coursework and assignments. From traditional print-based resources in libraries and bookshops, to the vast array of online tools and information hubs.

On a wider level, the term ‘academic resources’ can cover campus-based offerings for college students, such as peer mentoring, tutoring services, writing centers as well as wellness/mental health centers. Learning about what’s available in this regard at their future university will also help students to hit the ground running once they begin their degree.

3. Practice time and workload management skills

Managing time efficiently is essential to succeed at university. Students who are good at managing their time have a much better chance of finishing their assignments on time and not putting them off until the last minute, when they'll be under pressure.

Some effective ways to manage time are having a plan ready, dividing work into smaller parts, and using tools like calendars and planners to map out a process.

4. Ask questions

It’s vital that students seek help when they need it, whether in an academic sense or on a more pastoral level. Leaving problems and issued unchecked can cause huge stress and mean that academic work is either late or not to the required, or optimum standard.

Teachers, tutors, and academic advisors can all provide valuable support and guidance. Asking for help can help students overcome challenges and stay on track toward their academic goals.

5. Get involved in extracurricular activities

Involvement in activities outside of class makes studying, whether in high school or university, a lot more interesting and fun. These extracurricular activities also provide opportunities to gain skills not learnt through textbooks and tests alone. Through extracurricular activities, students can develop important life skills, such as teamwork, public speaking, creativity, leadership, and self-awareness.

Extracurricular activities are an important part of university life in the US, and having skills in this regard can make a huge difference when it comes to college entrance.

Equally, when starting university, having existing experience of a particular sport or hobby will immediately give students access to teams or clubs, and therefore a new social network. It’s worth noting however that they don’t always need experience or proficiency to join a specific society.

Expert Advice for University Success

At Kings, we are expert in helping international students gain places at the very best universities in the US.

Through our Guaranteed Outcome programs, students begin a bachelor’s degree at one of our partner universities in Boston, New York, California, Oregon and Wisconsin.

They are supported extensively by our specialist on-campus teams as they adapt to US college life. They learn more about the US education system, improve their GPA, and gain a host of new skills and experiences. After 2 years, with the full support of our advisors, they are then able to transfer to a Top 50 or Top 100 university, from where they will graduate.

For those students who need to improve their English prior to beginning their degree, or help to gain skills and experience to succeed at university, we offer the GO: Prepared program. It includes:

  • the opportunity to gain up to 6 college credits (depends on location and restrictions apply)
  • academic study skills development
  • guaranteed visits to local top universities every 4 weeks
  • personal assessment and academic guidance
  • specialist course in Global Leadership, topics may include talks by local business experts, lectures on leadership qualities, executive functioning skills, emotional intelligence, persuasion (elevator pitches), defining success
  • English language development (entry from TOEFL iBT 20)
  • TOEFL Test as required
  • In some cases, students can receive a Guaranteed Offer Letter from one of the following top-ranked universities after completing the GO: Prepared program: The University of Rochester, University of Wisconsin-Madison, State University of New York at Albany, The University of Oregon.

After successfully completing the GO: Prepared course, students can then progress immediately to university study on campus, before then completing the final two years of their degree as a transfer student at a Top 50 or Top 100 university.

Top 100 universities that have accepted Kings students for transfer include Cornell University, John Hopkins University, Rice University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), UC Berkeley, Emory University, Georgetown University, University of Southern California, Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis University, New York University, and many more...

Find out more about our student success

Next steps

We hope that this article has helped you understand more about academic preparation and its numerous benefits.

If you would like to receive more detailed information about Kings and our university pathway and preparation programs in the US, please get in touch with us at

Back to top