High School Sophomore Timeline and Checklist

How to start preparing for college in your sophomore year of high school.

The countdown to college has begun. The primary focuses of your sophomore year should be: keeping your grade point average up (What is a GPA?), getting involved in extracurricular activities and preparing to take standardized tests like the SAT or the ACT.

Fall (September-November)

  • Evaluate your course load and find out how much you know about college planning.
  • Register for and take the PSAT (pre-SAT) and/or PLAN (pre-ACT) tests.
  • Increase your commitment to extracurricular activities so you will stand out on your college applications.
  • Create a college calendar to keep track of important dates and deadlines.
  • Get familiar with college planning and the admissions process so you’ll know what to expect before college.

Winter (December-February)

  • Develop your standardized testing plan and take the tests you’re ready for.
  • Discover unique tips on how to organize your college prep activities.
  • Start your essay prep by writing often now, so you can reap the benefits later.
  • Capitalize on college planning resources and learn more about colleges and universities.

Spring (March-May)

  • Consult your counselor to make sure you’re prepped for junior year classes.
  • Expand your knowledge about prospective schools by attending college fairs and information sessions.
  • Plan a solid summer filled with volunteering, internships and of course, fun.
  • Ask your counselor or teachers about AP testing to see if you’re ready to take AP classes or sign up for the AP exam.

Summer (June-August)

  • Talk with your family about creating a college budget.
  • Secure a summer job and build credentials while having fun!
  • Enroll in ACT or SAT prep over the summer while you still have free time.
  • Visit college campuses to see which types of schools appeal to you.

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