9th & 10th Grade – Freshman/Sophomore Year

When you enter high school, everything seems a bit overwhelming.  The key to getting off on the right track is organization and time management.  As long as you take care of your grades and coursework first before other activites, you will have the best chance at future success and acceptance into the college of your choice!  Here’s a list of things to do during your first two years of high school…

Freshman  Year

  •  Get off to a great start academically!  That can’t be stressed enough!
  •  Stay Organized
  •  Familiarize yourself with your high school’s grading system
  •  Identify who your specific counselor is and meet with him/her to discuss your future plans regarding college and classes.
  •  Find out what resources are available to students regarding college/career planning.
  • Get involved in a club, activity, organization or sport if you haven’t done so already.
  •  Discuss your college plans with your parents
  • Continue to concentrate on your grades/studies/organization.
  • Complete an interest inventory to find out what career you’re most likely to fit into.  You will be asked to do this a number of times throughout high school as your interests change. 
  • Begin thinking about taking more challenging courses the follwing schoolyear
  • Consider tutoring to bring up grades in courses you struggle with
  • Be involved with school groups and functions 
  • Keep your summer productive

Sophomore Year

  • Meet with you counselor early in the year to review freshman year courses/grades, and make sure you are in the right classes for the current year.
  • As a sophomore, you will probably be taking a standardized test called the PLAN Test.  It is a pre-ACT test that gives you an idea of what you may score when you take the ACT the following year.  Pay particular attention to this score, and improve in the areas that you scored the lowest.  The test results should provide sub scores in each of the subject areas.
  • If your school or community provides a career day or career fair, participate in it to explore all of your options.
  • Be certain that you are involved in activities in addition to your academics.  If you haven’t joined anything yet, do it now
  • By now you should be engaged in different writing activities in English, as well as your other classes.  Pay particular attention to your writing skills and try to write as much as possible.  You will use these skills a lot as you finish high school and throughout your college education.
  • You should be starting to get a good idea of some colleges that may interest you once you are ready to apply.  Try to come up with a list of at least 5 potential schools.  You can have more, but try and get at least 5 because this list might get smaller as you visit and research these schools.  Many students find out that certain colleges aren’t the “right fit” for them, and end up deleting them from their initial list.
  • Once you get a rough list of potential colleges, find out what their requirements for admission are and make sure you are enrolled in courses they want.
  • If your school hosts a college fair, attend that!  Also, many colleges will send representatives out to the high schools to meet with students and answer any questions they might have.  If you have the opportunity, meet with as many college reps as you are interested in.
  • Above all else, keep your grades up and continue to work on your organization and time management skills!

For a more complete “to-do” list that covers Freshman through Senior year, take a look at Plan, Prepare, Succeed!  Getting Accepted to College.  We provide you with a College Preparation Timeline that shows you what you should be doing, and at what time during the schoolyear.