Ready : Preparing for My Education
The rest of high school is going to fly by. Hopefully you’ve already started a list of colleges you might be interested in—junior year is the time to start narrowing your options for schools or programs.
If you haven’t done so already, you should plan campus tours and learn about student life at different colleges, not just academics. Look for opportunities at your high school to go on field trips to college campuses.Or work with your family to set up college visits by contacting college admissions offices or checking out their website. Look for a section called “Prospective Students” or “Admissions” for more information.
Below are some more things to consider doing during 11th grade.
- Continue to take challenging classes.
- Plan your 12th grade classes.
- Read for 30 minutes each day.
- Check out the dual-credit lookup tool to find out how your AP, IB, or Cambridge test scores apply as college credit.
- Make a list of everything you want to ask your counselor about colleges and the application process. Set up an appointment with your counselor to talk about next year’s classes and discuss college options.
- Apply for summer internships or jobs, or look for volunteer opportunities in your career interest areas. Save money from any summer jobs.
- List this year’s activities. Make a list of things you’d like to do or learn more about this summer.
- Take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). You must take the test in 11th grade to qualify for scholarships and programs associated with the National Merit Scholarship Program (and it is good practice for the SAT). Review your results with your counselor in order to identify strengths and determine areas where you may need to improve.
- Find out how colleges use admission tests. Get schedules and forms for the SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Test, ACT, and AP exams. Sign up for the exams you plan to take, and start preparing. Check your mailbox for AP scores in July.
- Read your college mail and send reply cards to your schools of interest. Go to college and financial aid fairs and information nights.
- Sign up for college campus visits and tours. Meet with admissions counselors.
- List what matters to you in a college. Try to narrow your list of preferred colleges to five.
- Talk to your family about how to pay for college. Learn why most students pay less than full price.
- Practice writing online applications by filling out rough drafts of each application without submitting them. Focus on the essay portions of these applications, deciding how you would like to present yourself. Don't forget to mention your activities outside of school.
- Review your applications, especially the essays. Ask family, friends, and teachers to review your essays for grammar, punctuation, readability, and content.
- Think about whether you may want to apply under a particular college's early decision or early action program. This requires you to submit your applications early, typically between October and December of your senior year. But early application offers the benefit of receiving the college's decision concerning your admission early, usually before January 1.
- Set five easy-to-reach goals.
- Make a list of possible mentors.
- Set up a job-shadow day.