FAQ's for Incoming 9th Grade Students


General FAQ's


1) How can I ask a question or meet with my counselor?

There are several ways that you can talk to your counselor.  You can email, come into the office when you are not in class and see if your counselor is available, or fill out a “request for an appointment” form.  Students are usually called in within a day or two unless it is a high traffic time for the counselors. If you turn in a form and do not hear from your counselor, please check back by coming in or emailing your counselor.

2) What GPA do colleges use to evaluate my application?

UC’s and CSU’s will use all academic courses www.ucop.edu/agguide in 10th and 11th grade. Ninth grade marks will be viewed but not used for calculating GPA. A maximum of 8 semesters of honors and AP weighted work will be credited in the 10th and 11th grade for the admission GPA.  Private and out of state schools vary on what GPA they use for evaluating purposes. Students are encouraged to do research when it comes to questions on private and out of state universities. Good sources for researching are Naviance, College Board’s “College Search”, and UC Freshman Admission http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/index.

3) How can I prepare for the SAT?

Here are ways to prepare for the SAT and/or ACT from free to expensive in ascending order:

  1. Do the Official SAT and/or the ACT Question of the Day every day https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-question-of-the-day and http://www.act.org/qotd/.
  2. Sign up to be one of 100 juniors at Canyon participating in the district scholarship prep classes in the spring.
  3. Check out the free SAT test prep at Khan Academy at:  https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat
  4. Shmoop has test prep at no charge.  Pick up Shmoop instructions in the counseling office.
  5. Use your PSAT Score Report and booklet to study for the SAT.
  6. Get an SAT or ACT test prep book from the library, bookstore, or purchase online.
  7. Take the two Saturday prep class offered by Santiago Canyon College or Santa Ana College, www.sccollege.edu/StudentServices/CS and www.sac.edu look for “Community Services Program.”
  8. Take classes or work with a tutor through a private test prep company such as Elite, Ivy West, Kaplan, Catalyst, Princeton Review, and others.

4)   When should I take the SAT/ACT Reasoning test and how do I sign up?

The traditional time to take the test is in the spring of junior year (although some students choose to take it sooner.)  This gives the student additional time to take the test again if desired. The last time to take the test to count for fall admission is the December test date during senior year. You can sign up for the SAT at www.sat.collegeboard.org and the ACT at www.actstudent.org. There are handouts for both in the counseling office.

5) Do I need to take an SAT Subject Test?

Some colleges and some majors require one or more SAT Subject Tests.  Those colleges are usually the more difficult ones to get into and the majors are often math and science.  Check with the schools and majors that you are applying to.

6) When should I take an SAT Subject Test?

If you are taking a course in a subject that is tested with an SAT Subject Test, take the test toward the end of the course.  Otherwise, take the test at a convenient test date.

7) What is a “good” SAT/ACT score?

Students are advised to research the mid-range scores at the schools they are interested in applying to. Average scores vary widely based on the difficultly of gaining acceptance to the school. SAT/ACT scores are important when looking for “best fit” colleges.  Try to avoid comparing your scores to other student’s scores. Remember, colleges look at more than just SAT/ACT scores when evaluating applications.

8) What can I do if I earn a “D” in an academic course?

A “D” will earn credit toward graduation at Canyon High School. However, if the “D” is in a required course for college admission, the student must make up the D through one of the following: retake the course through an OUSD grade remediation option or another high school, retake the course at a community college, take an online course through one of the UC approved online resources, or successfully take a higher level course when remediating a Language Other Than English course or with an approved math class for math. Please see your counselor for more information on all of the above.

9) How do I make up an “F”grade?

If the grade was earned in a course required for graduation, students must make up the credit. Students have the following options to make up an “F” grade: repeat the course in an OUSD credit recovery option, community college, other high school, or Night School Petition Program (see your counselor for more info.)  

10) How do I get my community college grades on my Canyon transcript?

Students must have permission to bring credit from a college class to their high school transcript.  Please see your counselor if you would like to do this. If a student is bringing credit back to the high school, a transcript must be requested from the community college. Also, community college classes should be reported on a student’s college application and will be part of the student’s admission GPA.

11) Can I complete my 2nd or 3rd year of “Language Other Than English” at a community college?

Taking courses at the community colleges is optional and should be done with careful consideration. Most language courses at the community college will be counted toward fulfilling college eligibility requirements. It is not recommended that a student take a level of a language at the community college and then move on to a higher level at Canyon the following year. Please consult with your World Languages teacher or the chairperson of the department.

12) Am I required to take 3 and 4 years of science? And which should I choose?

Students fulfill their high school requirements for science with one life and one physical science. Some colleges require or recommend a 3rd or 4th year of lab science so please research the schools you anticipate applying to and plan your 11th and 12th grade classes accordingly. Which science class to take is up to the student’s preference, eventual major, and future  goals. Your counselor can help you with this.