Grades are vital this year. The grade point average provided to colleges when you apply senior year is cumulative through the end of junior year.
Start your college search: Start with YOU….what are your interests? Abilities? Strengths? Weaknesses? Goals? Personality type? Learning style? What are you passionate about? What types of classes and fields of study interest you?
Review your course selection for the year to make sure your courses are preparing you for college.
Create a separate, professional email account to use for college correspondence (such as gmail, hotmail, yahoo)
Create accounts on
www.cfnc.org (College Foundation of North Carolina…great information on planning for, applying to, and paying for college. CFNC is also the way to send transcripts to NC colleges when you apply during your senior year)
www.sat.collegeboard.org (SAT registration and score reports)
www.actstudent.org (ACT registration and score reports)
Create your resume with academic information/activities/awards/honors
Throughout the year, use CFNC, College Board, ACT, and college websites to refine your college plans and search.
Get PSAT/NMSQT tips and practice test at www.sat.collegeboard.org
Take the PSAT/NMSQT offered at school in mid-October. (While this is a practice test for the SAT, Juniors who score exceptionally well on the PSAT may be considered for participation in National Merit Scholarship.)
Begin, or continue, to prepare for the SAT (the new, redesigned SAT is rolling out for the first time at the March 5, 2016 administration). See www.khanacademy.org/satfor free, online SAT practice.
Begin, or continue, to prepare for the ACT (Test dates in spring 2016). See www.actstudent.org/onlineprep/ for free, online ACT practice.
Plan college visits for this school year (One college visit is permitted junior year: be sure to bring back a letter from the college admissions office with your name saying you visited in order for the absence to be excused)
Start a serious information gathering that allows you to match prospective colleges to your personal interests, abilities, achievements, and learning objectives.
Use the “College Search” function on www.sat.collegeboard.org to find colleges with the right characteristics for you
Your PSAT/NMSQT score report arrives mid-December. Review your score to see your strengths and get help in your weaker areas to prepare for the SAT. New this year, 2015/16: link your PSAT scores to your Khan Academy account to begin free, practice sessions that will be tailored specifically to your needs
Plan your spring testing schedule
Select which dates you will take the ACT and/or SAT, and make sure you note registration deadlines…..and register!
Talk to your counselor and teachers about taking SAT Subject Tests this spring. Some colleges require or recommend the Subject Tests and it is best to take them as soon as you finish a particular class, while the material is fresh in your mind
Create a file to manage your college search, testing, and application information for easy access when applying to colleges.
Look ahead to spring/summer break as possible times to visit colleges. Contact Admissions Offices to schedule.
Begin scholarship searches on www.fastweb.com
Register for remaining tests that you plan to take this spring (ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP Tests)
Continue research on colleges of interest
Visit colleges over spring break: ask questions, talk to students, and send a “Thank you” note to the college admissions representative
Finish your academic year well…keep up your momentum and study well for exams
Talk to teachers about writing letters of recommendation for you. Think about what you would like to include in these and politely ask your teachers if they will help you by writing a letter over the summer or in the fall