9th and 10th Grades:

In the ninth-grade year, you should focus on transitioning to Upper School and developing study habits that will make your high school and college careers smooth. The best preparation for college that you can do during the ninth and tenth-grade years is to focus on coursework, get involved in activities you enjoy, and try out new experiences. Students and parents often ask about which extra-curricular activities, and how many of them, students should be involved in. The answer is – there is no “right” type or number. Colleges do not want a student who has a long list of activities and volunteer hours, but who cannot articulate a meaningful interest in any of them. They want students who are engaged, who have active minds, and use their time productively inside and outside of the classroom. You should spend your ninth and tenth grade years exploring and discovering what you enjoy, what intrigues you, what challenges you. The EPS fifth-grade question, “Who Am I?” is a good one to return to. Counselors are happy to meet with you and your parents any time during these years. You will also take the PSAT, and will have the option to take the pre-ACT test as well. Your counselors will discuss both of these tests with you. (Testing during these years is further discussed in a later section of this handbook.)