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Preparing for College as an 11th Grader

The year of the tests is here! You will be taking things like the SATs, ACTs, standardized tests, and perhaps even a driving test all during your Junior year. You also may opt for taking more challenging dual credit classes that you can use for college credits. Don’t worry, it’s not all academics. You have fun things to look forward to like Junior Prom and Varsity Sports. But this year usually feels like a year of academic overload.

Important things to Remember

  1. The sooner you take your SATs, the better. The reason behind this is that you can keep taking your SATs over again but you only have a handful of months to do so. The sooner you start, the more opportunities you’ll give yourself to either study more or retake the exam.
  2. You should be able to start seeing some leadership or specific involvement with the clubs/organizations you are a part of. With the groups you’ve committed to for the past two years, it would be a good idea to see if you can step into an officer role for any of them. This will look excellent on college transcripts.
  3. You should consider enrolling in AP and other honors courses. You should know by now which subjects you will continue to focus on in college. These are the classes you should talk to your teachers about and asking them to place you in a higher course.

3rd  Year Myths

  1. More activities I’m a part of, the better.
  2. Jobs can’t count for college app

The misconception of having to do everything needs to be broken this year. You are a teenager and want to sign up for everything and anything. However,  colleges aren’t looking for the quantity of things you are involved with but the quality. They want to see what things you have committed to and how are you stepping up as a leader. The summer job you got working at the hospital or the job shadow you are doing at the bank can all count towards this as well. If you can’t find your passion at school, look around your city to see what other opportunities are out there.

What you can start doing today

  1. Start signing up for your SATs/ACTs/and other subject tests.
  2. Start talking with your parents on realistic goals you set for yourself. You start talking about finance and other obstacles getting to the school you want to attend.
  3. Start applying for scholarship.

Extra Credit

If you are satisfied with your standardized test scores early, you should stop taking them. I mentioned that you can keep taking your tests, but colleges will see how many times you have taken them. If you get a really good score after your 10th attempt, they might favor the student who got a slightly lower score than you on their 2nd attempt.