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Are You Ready to Apply for University?


Your high school days are almost over. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to start your journey into post-secondary education. Before you apply to your favourite colleges and universities, you should cross everything off this to-do list.

Get Your High School Diploma Requirements

You’ll want to meet all of the necessary requirements for graduating high school and receiving your diploma. To receive an OSSD, you will need the following:

  • 18 compulsory credits
  • 12 optional credits
  • 2 online learning credits
  • 40 hours of community involvement activities
  • A passing grade on the literacy requirement

Are There Exceptions to This List?

There are some exceptions for the academic year of 2021-2022. Students are not required to complete the literacy requirement. They are also required to complete 20 volunteer hours instead of 40.

These changes will not apply for the 2022-2023 school year.

How Do You Pass the Literacy Requirement?

Most students will achieve this requirement by passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test during Grade 10. If you fail the test, you can retake it until you pass.

How Can You Make Up Missed Credits?

The best way to make up for missed credits is to sign up for online courses through an accredited virtual school. A virtual school will offer online versions of secondary school courses for students that need to achieve their necessary credits for graduation.

Where Can You Volunteer?

You need to get volunteer hours, but you’re not exactly sure where to do so. These are some places where you can find volunteer opportunities:

  • Senior homes
  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Zoos
  • Local festivals
  • Charity organizations
  • Community centres

And if all else fails, look for volunteer opportunities at your school. Talk to your guidance counsellor to see whether they have any openings you could jump on.

Check Your Application Requirements

If you already know what university/college programs you want to apply for, you should look into the requirements you’ll need for acceptance. Some programs will require specific credits or grades, while others will ask for portfolios and auditions from applicants.

Get Your Missing Credits

You can sign up for online courses to get the missing credits you need for your desired program. For instance, if you want to get into an engineering program, you will probably see that the course MHF4U is listed as an admission requirement. As long as you have the prerequisites for this program, you can sign up for the online course right away. If you don’t have the prerequisites, sign up for those first.

Boost Your Grades

Take the following year seriously and try to bring up your GPA as best as you can. If you have any grades that are bringing your GPA down, you could always sign up for an upgrade course through a virtual school. An upgrade course allows you to retake a course in hopes that you will achieve a higher grade this time around.

Build Up Your Portfolio

Does the program require a portfolio or an audition? Look at the institution’s website to get an idea of what they’re looking for and when they want it. For instance, OCAD U has a helpful list of art portfolio tips that aspiring art students should read before applying to one of their programs.

Once you cross these tasks off your to-do list, you’ll be ready to apply!


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