What You Do in High School Now, Will Get You Into College Later.  Continue to Challenge Yourself Sophomore Year.

“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”

-Juma Ikangaa

Take AP or Honors classes

Take them where you think you can perform well. You have to put in the work! Go to class every day and participate.

AP Classes are introductory college level classes taught in your high school by your high school teachers. AP History, English, and Foreign Language classes require more reading and writing than other high school classes. AP Math and Science classes move faster, covering more material than standard classes. You have to be organized and stay on top of the work. You can do it! A strong score on the exams in May can earn you college credit!

Take the PSAT

The PSAT is a Preliminary-SAT and great practice for the SAT, which is a college entrance exam.

DON’T STRESS – colleges do not see your PSAT scores. Use it as a guidepost for the SAT you will take in 11th grade.

Familiarity breeds better performance. Review the PSAT before you take it. In September, go to the College Board Website and check out the practice tests for the PSAT 10. The more you know, the better you may do.

In January, Review Your High School Plan

Talk to your counselor about Junior year classes. This is the year that colleges pay the most attention to when reviewing your high school transcript.

What fascinates you? Learn deeper.Take advantage of the opportunity to register for more AP classes that your high school offers in areas that you are interested in and excel.


Ask for Help When You Don’t Understand Something!
High school classes will start to get harder in 10th grade. Do not be afraid to ask questions in class or after class. You are not expected to know everything that is taught in class right away. Ask your teacher or ask a classmate who is doing well in the class. Just ask!

Get More Involved at Your School and in Your Community

High School Students applying to college

Take advantage of leadership opportunities. You have probably found some school activities that you like. Get more involved: Captain of the JV team – great! Want to run for Class VP – do it! Working a job after school and taking care of younger siblings strengthen your leadership skills too!

Do more of what you love! Do you play the trumpet? Join the jazz club. Do you love to draw? Do set design for your school performances. Check out more opportunities in the community. Selective colleges admit students who go above and beyond the minimum school requirements to pursue their interests.

Your Summer Plans

In February, start to think about what you want to do this summer. Of course you want to spend time with friends and take a little break after school but also take advantage of fun growth opportunities:

  • You may have to get a job to help your family. That takes maturity and independence.
  • You could be a junior counselor at a summer camp.
  • You could attend an academic/enrichment program to learn more about things that interest you.
  • If you have to take care of younger siblings all summer, that means more than you think. It may not be what you want to do, but you will be learning leadership skills and how to be responsible for others.

Study for the SAT or the ACT. You may be ready to take your first test in November or December of Junior year, second test by March of Junior year. Score well – you are done! Princeton Review shares the differences between the two tests here:   https://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-act

Student with Summer Job as a Camp Counselor

Start to Learn About College


Talk to Older Siblings and Friends About What College is Like

Why did they choose to attend their school? Would they have done anything differently in high school now that they know what college is like?


Looking for Something to Do? Visit College Websites

Look at photos of the campus, take a virtual tour, watch videos and listen to students. What do you like, what don’t you like?


You Can Start Saving for College Now

Working after school?  If you can, set aside a little bit of each paycheck for college, even $5.  You will thank yourself later!

Do you have questions about what classes you should take in high school or what to do over the summer, or about college?