How much education does one need to do well in college courses?
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This is a difficult question to answer. There are several variables to consider. First, each college course is different. There are easy courses and very hard courses. The harder courses require more effort and education, whereas the easier courses require less. Second, the level of intelligence of each student differs. I know that this is a sensitive point, but some students are more intelligent than others.
With that said, it would never be a bad thing for a student to come into college with more advanced coursework. Some review in college can be a good thing. Moreover, if the student finds something easy, then there are always other courses they can take or even independent research projects. They sky is the limit at college.
As for minimums, a high school diploma or equivalent should be a basic standard. To go lower than this would be a students at a disadvantage.
There is no one answer to your question since each person is unique. In the United States, especially on the East Coast, there seems to be a pattern of graduating from highschool or a college prep school before applying to college or university.
But in other areas of this country and in Europe, this is not a given pattern and many variations exist. Perhaps the student did not have access to adequate educational resources, had to work to support the family or had children of their own at a young age? These individuals have as much right to further education as anyone but will need an alternative opportunity.
If you are interested in education beyond the highschool level, investigate your possibilities with a teacher, counselor or local social services office.
Certainly the skill of analytical thinking is part of the education needed for success in college. In addition, skill in writing is also invaluable as the effective communication of one's ideas is essential to success in college. Thus, in order to be able to succeed, a student needs education in essential skills to critical thinking as well as good listening skills, skills acquired often from having taken foreign language courses.
To succeed in college one must have certain skills. You must know how to take notes and study. You must know how to write both informally and in essay format. You must know how to manage time, how to complete assignments without reminders and prodding, and how to ask questions when help is needed. You must be able to respectfully address professors when necessary. You can’t be afraid or unwilling to do whatever it takes to achieve a goal.
These are skills that can be gained at a good college preparatory school. However if you attended a school that is not college prep, the adjustment might be a bit harder. It is helpful to have a mentor that has graduated from college, who you can call on for advice on college readiness skills.
To graduate from college there are a number of skills that you will need to develop or possess, however you don't need to enter college with all of these skills. You can learn some of them along the way.
Certain courses of study, especially those requiring or utilizing mathematics, may necessitate some degree of preparation and specific knowledge.
Knowing how to format an essay, any kind of essay, will also be extremely helpful. But that doesn't mean you have to know everything about MLA or Chicago Style. It just means that you will be writing in all of your classes or nearly all of your classes, and some preparation in the area of writing will greatly help any college student.
The education one needs to succeed in college courses--which means to get a passing grade of C--is the equivalent of a competent high school diploma. The skills one must have to successfully undertake college are (1) reading comprehension; (2) skill in academic composition; (3) research skill; (4) lecture note-taking ability; (5) organized study habits. These are skills that a competent high school diploma or its equivalent will provide to each average and above average student.
Critical thinking, reading comprehension, writing, and research are the most vital skills one must gain from education to be able to continue one's education in college and do particularly well. As an essay writing tutor I frequently see that students struggle because they lack the skills above. It is especially critical to be able to analyze and interpret.
College courses are more detailed, more advanced and more complex than High school or even junior college courses. Thus a student would need enough education to have been successful in high school or any other pre college courses or programs.
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