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Open Notebook



  • Begin your high school career strong! Give your best efforts in all of your classes. Freshman grades matter!

  • Focus on your core classes - math, English, science, social science and foreign language.

  • Get involved! Find some extracurricular activities that you are interested in and try them out.

  • Read everything you can find!

  • Plan your summer. Find a camp or activity that sounds fun or interesting.

  • Start a file to save awards, report cards, certificates and honors.

  • Challenge yourself by taking at least one advanced (Pre-AP or Honors) course

Piles of Books



  • Continue to work hard in all your classes. If needed, set a goal to improve your grades.

  • Continued to be involved. If you are involved in several different activities, begin to narrow down and focus on the ones that interest you the most.

  • If struggling in a class, consider getting extra help.

  • Begin thinking about colleges. Read about different schools to see what interests you.

  • Visit nearby colleges, even if they are not on your list. This is a great way to do a test-run visit and get a feel for different sizes of colleges.

  • Continue to read, read and read.

  • Talk to your school counselor to play your next year's classes.

  • Plan your summer (consider getting a job, volunteer work, travel or doing other activity).

Book Stack



  • Continue to work hard in all your classes. Take advanced classes if possible.

  • Take the PSAT or PreACT in October

  • Take a 3rd year of the same foreign language (even if it's not required)

  • Determine your testing plan and register for the SAT or ACT

  • Consider test prep classes as needed

  • Continue to be involved in activities and seek out leadership roles 

  • Research colleges, attend college fairs and create a preliminary college list

  • Explore possible major and careers

  • Plan some campus visits (perhaps over spring break)

  • Take SAT Subject exams as needed

  • Plan your summer (consider internship, jobs or college classes)

  • Begin brainstorming topics for your college essays (summer is a great time to start working on these)

Graduation Caps



  • Keep studying hard. Take AP or IB classes if available

  • Take a 4th year of the same foreign language

  • Finalize your list of colleges (determine an application plan that includes timing decisions)

  • Visit the rest of campuses on your list

  • Ask your teachers and counselors for recommendations

  • Take the SAT/SAT Subjects or ACT again as needed

  • Finish your college essays and applications

  • Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA and/or CSS Profile) in January

  • Complete scholarship applications

During Spring months:

  • Celebrate your acceptance letters

  • Visit any colleges you are seriously considering (plan an overnight visit if possible)

  • Make your final decision and notify the colleges by May 1

  • Enjoy the rest of your senior year (but don't slack off!). You still need to send in final transcripts.

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