How to Become Valedictorian

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 00:20
Weird Al Yankovic, Alicia Keys, and Jodi Foster. What do all of these celebrities have in common? They were all valedictorians of their class. Though being valedictorian won't make you a supermodel or singer, it can set you on an...
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Weird Al Yankovic, Alicia Keys, and Jodi Foster. What do all of these celebrities have in common? They were all valedictorians of their class. Though being valedictorian won't make you a supermodel or singer, it can set you on an impressive path that can lead you to succeed in your college career and in the world at large. All you need is to have mental toughness, endurance, and an unbeatable work ethic. So how do you do it? Just follow these steps.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Getting Ready

  1. Step 2 Learn how your school chooses its valedictorian.
    Some schools rank students with an unweighted GPA, while others award extra points for harder classes.[1] Most schools do offer extra points for taking harder courses so you should aim to take these; and even if your school doesn't offer extra points for harder courses, you should still aim for success; after all, if you want to be valedictorian, then you probably want to go to a top-notch school, which means you'll have to take the most challenging classes anyway.
    • For example, if your school does use a weighted GPA to determine valedictorian, then you may receive a 4.0 for an "A" in regular classes, a 5.0 for an "A" in honors classes and a 6.0 for an "A" in AP classes.[2]
    • A valedictorian also typically gives a graduation speech in front of their classmates. But if this is the part that appeals to you the most, then make sure that the speech-giver is the valedictorian. Some schools have the student body president give a speech, some have students vote for which student should give the speech, while others have the valedictorian and the student body president and another student give a speech.
    • Some schools have more than one valedictorian -- or as many as 29!
  2. Step 3 Choose your classes wisely.
    If your school does factor the weighted GPA into their decision to choose the valedictorian, then you should take the most rigorous courses whenever possible. If you think that the harder classes may be too tough for you, then you may need to rethink being valedictorian. To be the valedictorian, you have to get As in the hardest classes at your school pretty much every time. Are you up for the challenge?
    • Take AP classes over honors classes when you can, if they are worth more points.
    • Your electives can really hurt your weighted GPA because they tend to be considered regular classes. However, all students in your school will most likely be expected to take some electives, such as gym or art class. Whenever you can, though, try to take an elective that is worth more points, if you have the option. For example, don't take Creative Writing if it is considered a regular class; take AP Language and Composition if it is offered to everyone instead.
    • Sure, you may end up missing out on some fun classes over the course of your high school career. But those classes will NOT get you to be the valedictorian.
    • If your school has the option of not having to take gym if you do a sport, then consider picking up a sport if not taking gym will boost your GPA. If you want to be valedictorian, then you should also be well-rounded so you stand out in college applications for more than just your grades. You should obviously not take a sport, though, just to make your GPA higher, because the extra time you devote to sports may keep you away from your studies.
  3. Step 4 Remember that being the valedictorian will NOT guarantee you a spot to any elite college.
    If you want to be valedictorian, then you must be very ambitious, having your sights on elite schools such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, or Amherst. But remember that when you apply to colleges such as these, valedictorians will be a dime a dozen. Being valedictorian will keep you in the running and will impress admissions officers, but you want to avoid looking like a cold grade-obsessed automaton and show that you have depth, several other interests, and that you're a good citizen of your community.[3]
    • Even William R. Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions at Harvard, recently said, “I think, it’s a bit of an anachronism. This has been a long tradition, but in the world of college admissions, it makes no real difference.”
    • Being valedictorian in addition to showing strengths in sports, community service, or the arts will help you be an amazing candidate. But being ranked #10 in your class and doing these same things won't make you look much worse.
    • Your SAT score will also have a major impact on your college acceptances. Many colleges place equal weight on your GPA and your SAT score -- that means your effort for four years of high school courses will amount to about as much as your efforts on a 3.5 hour exam! Sound fair? It isn't, but you've got to get used to it.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Working Hard

  1. Step 1 Study smart...
    Study smart. If you want to be a valedictorian, then you have to study smart to get good grades. This doesn't mean that you should spend all of your waking hours perched over your book, but it does mean that you should study as efficiently and thoroughly as possible. Here are some tips to get you studying hard:[4]
    • Make an efficient study schedule. Maybe you will spend 2-3 hours of studying a night, or maybe you will study for 3-4 hours every other night. Whatever you do, make a plan in advance so you don't end up getting overwhelmed or procrastinate.
    • Pace yourself. Set a goal -- 10-15 pages per day, and don't go overboard too much or you'll burn out.
    • Take advantage of practice quizzes. Your history books, math textbooks, or other course material may come with practice questions that you can use to see how well you know the course materials. Even if your teacher doesn't use these resources, they can be valuable to you.
    • Make flashcards. If flashcards help you memorize historical concepts, foreign languages, or even mathematical operations, use them.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Staying Centered

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  • Becoming valedictorian is not a significant advantage that guarantees acceptance into any Ivy League school. Valedictorians get rejected all the time, often for those in second or third place. Do sports or other extracurricular activities too, unless they become too time-consuming.
    Helpful 25 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember: there's more to life than class rank! If you don't get valedictorian, who will care ten years from now? Most likely nobody! What will matter are the friends you kept and the passions you discovered. Make sure to have fun, just stay out of trouble!
    Helpful 8 Not Helpful 2

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