Plan for the Year Ahead
- Grades are especially important this year because this is possibly the last set of grades a college will see before making an admission decision.
- Make lists of your abilities, preferences, and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college.
- Visit with college representatives who come to the school in the fall & spring. If it is a college you are interested in, make sure you introduce yourself to the representative and ask a valid question about the school.
- Be thinking about whom you will ask for recommendations. We will need to inform the teachers you choose before the summer break that you will need a letter from them.
- Start visiting local colleges: large, small, public, and private. Get a feel for what works for you. Develop a list of 15-20 colleges that interest you.
Plan Your Spring Testing Schedule
- Look at the school calendar and compare it to the SAT/ACT test date page. Look for conflicts with sporting events, Prom, Homecoming, and any other important school dates.
- Take the PSAT at school. Remember the PSAT in your junior year is the only test that qualifies you to become a National Merit Scholar! All your practice and test prep can be rewarded with this test!
- In the spring or early summer of your junior year take both the ACT and SAT at least once.
- Check to see if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT Subject Tests. It is your responsibility to know if your colleges require them. Remember the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT are given on the same day so plan carefully.
- Do well on AP Exams and receive credit or placement at most colleges. Get AP Exam preparation.
Plan Ahead for the Summer & Senior Year
- Prepare to take the SAT or ACT again. You wouldn’t take any other test in high school without preparing for it so think of this as preparing for the most important test of your high school career.
- Review your senior year class schedule with your guidance counselor.
- Plan summer activities early. Enrich yourself by volunteering, getting an interesting job or internship, or signing up for special summer learning programs.
- Colleges look closely at your senior schedule.
- Take a full schedule. Take some time to work on your college application essays. It is less stress to write in the summer when you do not have other papers due as you will when school starts.
- Check with www.applytexas.org to see if you can start your college applications in August.
Keep Your Momentum Up This Summer
- Visit colleges. Take campus tours and, at colleges you’re serious about, schedule interviews with admissions counselors.
- Check important dates; some universities have early dates or rolling admissions. Each college has their own deadlines.