College Preparation

College & Career Counseling

As the global demand for competitive college admissions increases, Balboa School recognizes the importance of equipping students with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful for college, career, and civic life beyond high school. Our counselor offers individualized advising that begins as early as the 8th grade and continues through the high school years.

Students at Balboa School participate in a number of activities that help prepare them for college and beyond. Starting in 8th grade, college planning formally begins when students take the PSAT 8/9 exam. This test allows Balboa School to create a personalized educational plan for each student, based on their individual educational profile.

As students continue on their path into high school, they have the opportunity to learn about the A-G requirement, visit college campuses, attend college fairs, and receive SAT, ACT, and TOEFL advice. Students actively take part in investigating college admission requirements, discussing career paths and areas of study, and determining the benefits of obtaining different levels of degrees. By working closely with our counselor, students are able to set educational and career goals and create a concrete plan of action for success.

Test Preparation

SAT & ACT: As a member of The College Board, Balboa School implements the recommended approach to test preparation which requires years of distributed practice among specific skill sets, a great familiarity with the structure of the exam(s), and a possession of time management skills. Test preparation at Balboa School begins in middle school through our Study Skills course and continues throughout high school, where the necessary skills are embedded into the curriculum. All students at Balboa School receive supplemental SAT and ACT preparation through our on-line platform, Family Connection powered by Naviance. Students are able to get a baseline result and guided practice that is focused on specific areas of improvement.

VOXY: All international students at balboa School have an opportunity to improve their English language proficiency using the VOXY program. This program consists of different units based on specific content such as video recordings, grammar, real-life situations, and many other interactive activities. Students are able to see how well they have improved by getting a progress report at the end of each unit. Every three months, students take the VOXY Proficiency Assessment (VPA) as a means to measure improvement. Students who consistently use VOXY can see an increase of up to 50% on TOEFL results. VOXY is offered on-line as a supplement to the curriculum, and students can access VOXY on any computer or cell phone.

TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers. The TOEFL is the most widely accepted exam for students interested in attending college in an English-speaking country. This exam tests the student’s ability to speak, read, listen and write at the university level. You can find further information on this exam at In addition to VOXY, we offer a TOEFL preparation course for students who wish to achieve a high TOEFL score for college admissions. Through a variety of classroom based activities, students are able to learn testing techniques and practice taking the exams.


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