By Charlotte Klaar —
It’s not just your years as an upperclassman that count. All four years of high school contribute to your ultimate success. The more you accomplish in the first two years, the less your burden will be in the last two years. The stress can be intense coming down the stretch, so we advise that you plan for each year of your high school career so that, at its culmination, you’re confident and looking forward to what’s ahead.
Steps to Take in Sophomore Year
In sophomore year, we recommend that you select honors classes in your strongest subjects. You should also assess your extracurricular activities and drop those in which you’re not too interested.Try new ones if necessary. Refine your admissions plan to focus on real choices that you’ll need to make as an upperclassman.
- Take the PSAT
Taking the PSAT prepares you for the SAT in junior year. It helps you to identify your weak areas so that you can work to improve in them. If you release your name, address, and email to colleges, you’ll receive marketing communications from them.
- Practice for the ACT
Pursue the PLAN Assessment Program offered by American College Testing if you plan to take the ACT exam instead of the SAT. This program assesses the efficacy your study habits, your academic progress to date, and the intensity of your interests. It also prepares you for the ACT exam itself.
- Learn About College Admissions
Become familiar with college entrance requirements, especially at those schools that you may feel are potential best-fits. The sooner you know this the better prepared you’ll be. Your guidance counselor’s office will have information about admission requirements as will libraries, college websites, magazine rankings, and articles in the mainstream media.
- Proceed on Your Academic Path
Work with your guidance counselor to make sure that you’re enrolled in the courses that best suit your educational goals. You’ll also want to be sure that you’ll have all of your graduation requirements, except senior English, completed by the end of junior year.
- Use Summer to Add to Your Admissions Credentials
The summer after sophomore year is a good time to find a job. Working steadily every summer has appeal to colleges. Use your spare time to prepare for the SAT or ACT exam. You may want to take an elective summer course at your high school or at a local college in the field that you’re considering as a major. Admissions officials will look positively on this as an indication of your desire to learn and work hard.