The junior year of high school is pivotal. There are numerous decisions that you make during your junior year that can have an impact. Junior grades are often considered the most important grades on your transcript. Think carefully about which courses you register for and consider that colleges want to see you take the most challenging courses that are appropriate for you. If you are considering the Military or do not intend to go to college, begin to investigate possible careers
- Meet with your guidance counselor to confirm that your courses for your junior and senior years have the right balance of rigor and challenge to get into a competitive college.
- If you have not already done so, be sure to register for the October PSAT. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT is the best way to get ready for the SAT.
- Step up your involvement in one or two organizations. It's not the number of organizations you belong to, but that you have leadership experience that matters the most, as well as passion for the mission of the organization.
- If you are an athlete, display leadership qualities as you participate in your sport. If you are interested in initiating relationships with colleges that offer athletic scholarships, talk to your guidance counselor to understand the process and opportunities.
- Start collecting materials for your portfolio and begin identifying accomplishments and achievements you will list on your resume.
- Talk with teachers, family members, and other adults you respect about the colleges they attended.
- Get to know your teachers so they will eventually be able to write a thoughtful letter of recommendation on your behalf.
- Begin the career exploration process with some assessment tests.
- Keep your focus on your grades. You'll want your grades for this entire junior year to be as strong as possible.
- Continue to research potential colleges and careers.
- Continue gathering materials for your resume and portfolio.
- Once you receive your PSAT scores, make plans for how to maximize the good and plan to improve the rest.
- Continue your research on potential colleges and careers.
- Depending on your PSAT scores, consider taking an SAT prep course. See your counselor.
- Consider asking to job shadow one or more people you know to learn more about those careers firsthand.
- Stay focused on grades. Schedule meeting with your guidance counselor to discuss possible college choices.
- Begin to focus on the key 10 to 15 colleges that are a good fit (based on your academics and career choice).
- Develop (if you haven't already) a file for each of the schools on your list.
- Brainstorm and research rewarding summer jobs, internships, or scholarship opportunities.
- Work with your guidance counselor to assure a challenging senior year of courses.
- Consider visiting some of the colleges on your list. See if you can arrange interviews while you are on campus.
- Begin identifying teachers who may be willing to write recommendations letters for you.
- Begin reviewing for the SAT. Visit the SAT practice section at www.collegeboard.com and take free practice questions and a free full-length practice test. Try the daily SAT question on the Guidance homepage!
- Firm up your summer plans, including visits to other colleges on your list.
- If you will be working over the summer, see the work permit guidelines to understand how many hours you can legally work at your age.
- Push yourself hard to end the year with solid grades.
- Continue contemplating various careers and colleges.
- Be sure to get the most out of your summer vacation. Some suggestions include employment, summer coursework and/or community service projects.
- Ask for summer reading lists.
- Start thinking about and/or drafting the 500 word essay you will write for your college applications. Some schools will require more than one essay. Check out what questions your favorite colleges have asked in past years.