Learn what a sophomore year schedule focused on college prep might look like.
What should your schedule look like if you’re a sophomore focused on college preparation?
There is no one simple answer to this question.
A standard sophomore schedule may simply consist of taking the required amount of classes at your high school.
Get to know your guidance counselors: They can help you figure out which colleges and careers will be a good fit for you and help you create a schedule that fits your goals.
If this describes you, don’t think that you are doing anything wrong. However, you may want to make some adjustments to your schedule to increase your chances of getting admitted to the school of your choice or to simply broaden your college options.
Sophomore Year College Prep Academic Schedule Guidelines
- Math, science, and English classes will most likely be required by your school. But if you’re serious about college prep, you may want to be thinking about getting into advanced or honors classes. These courses can prepare you for more advanced AP courses in your junior and senior years of high school.
- Advanced placement (AP) classes: AP classes can earn you college credits and boost your GPA. Depending on your school, as a sophomore you may be able to take an AP science class (biology, chemistry) an AP history class (U.S. history, European history) or other course offered. A majority of students take APs in their junior and senior years, but there’s no reason to put it off if you feel you are ready.
- A foreign language class: Starting a foreign language early in your high school career can set you up to take advanced level courses by your senior year. Most universities will require you to take at least one foreign language class. If you start early enough, you may be able to fulfill this requirement in high school.
- Summer school: If you feel you are behind some of your peers or want to get ahead, consider summer school. A single class can give you a leg up for the next academic year – while still leaving time to work or hang out with your friends.
Other Activities in Your Schedule
- Clubs or extracurricular activities: Joining a sports team, student council, or playing a musical instrument not only showcases a commitment outside of class, but it also looks great on college applications.
- SAT and/or ACT prep classes: No matter how high your GPA is, taking standardized tests is a skill you may need to practice. Standardized test prep classes will make sure you know what to expect when you sit for the exam.
- Internship or volunteer positions: Find a local business related to your interests and see if they have any internship or volunteer opportunities. Time spent in the workplace will provide you with invaluable experience that you cannot gain in a classroom setting and will also show college entrance boards that you are proactive about your education.
Further Tips and Suggestions for 10th Grade College Prep
In addition to the suggestions outlined above, there are many things you can do to better prepare yourself for the college admissions process. These suggestions do not require a regular time commitment and fit nearly any schedule.
- Get to know your guidance counselors: They can help you figure out which colleges and careers will be a good fit for you and help you create a schedule that fits your goals.
- Attend college fairs in your area: Talk to the representatives from universities to learn more about tuition, admission standards and campus life.
- Do career research: If there is a career or field that interests you, find someone who works in the business and ask if you can shadow for a day or two. Your networking could be rewarded with an internship down the road.
- Start financial planning: Once you have a list of prospective colleges – or even types of colleges you might be interested in (public vs. private, for example), compare the cost of tuition to your realistic budget. If necessary, begin a savings account or look into various scholarships and other sources of financial aid.
- Talk to current college students: Counselors, university representatives and other adults only provide half the picture. Current college students can give you information about dorms, campus life, time management and other areas of the college experience that may help you decide on which college is right for you.