Top 5 Tasks Juniors Need to Do Now

College application tips for juniors in high school.

By Katherine Cohen, Phd., Founder of ApplyWise

March 12, 2009

Top 5 Tasks Juniors Need to Do Now Top 5 Tasks Juniors Need to Do Now

1. Register for standardized tests NOW
Most students wait until the summer after their Junior year to study and cram for the SAT/ACT. As a result, once you get your scores in October, you only have one or two more opportunities to re-take the exams to improve scores. Give yourself more time to improve by taking the tests early in the spring semester. This way, you’ll have time to study over the summer. Get the ball rolling: the SAT deadline is February 10th for the March 14th test, and ACT deadline is February 27 for the April 4th test.

2. Visit a college during your winter or spring break
Visiting a college campus will help you and your parents get a sense of your preferences and needs. Some students may plan a trip to visit Ivy League schools in the Northeast, while others may drive to a local campus. You do not need to wait for an open house to visit a campus. Visiting and talking to students while college is in session will help you get a true sense of what college life is like.

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3. Plan to take SAT subject tests in May or June
Many schools require SAT subject tests for admission and some colleges require you to submit scores from two SAT Subject tests. You should plan to take an SAT Subject Test in a course that you are currently doing well in. This way, the material is fresh and you’ll perform better on the exam. Avoid the stress of taking subject tests in the fall of your senior year. So, register now for the May 3 and June 7 SAT Subject Test date.

4. Identify teachers who can write your college recommendations
Asking a teacher for a recommendation two weeks before the application is due is not a good idea. Also, by identifying who you might want a recommendation from, you can focus on not just getting the A, but how you get the A. Once you’ve identified teachers that you are interested in asking for a recommendation, start cultivating a strong relationship. Spend time talking with them about the work you are doing in and out of class. You can even talk to them about your college search. You might be surprised at how happy they are to hear about your future plans.

5. Set up an appointment with your guidance counselor
Your school will probably have a college day or financial aid night that you and your family should attend. You should also make an effort to speak to your guidance counselor sooner rather than later. The more your guidance counselor knows about your needs and wants, the better the advice he or she can give you in the next few months.

So let’s get started! Follow these tips to make your junior year successful!

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