High school sophomores – Thinking about colleges and upcoming tests
- Beyond good grades and test scores, what are colleges looking for?
- Developing a college strategy
- Preparing for the PSATs
- How your special interests can help you get into college
- Choosing your extracurricular activities
- Setting up your test-taking calendar
- Considering financial aid issues
- Making the initial college list
- Planning the first college visits
The beginning of sophomore year is the time to think about which standardized tests to take, when to take them and how to prepare. Many students take the PSATs this year. Sophomores should create test-taking calendars for themselves, so they have time to register for each test and study effectively. Tenth grade is also a good time to start learning about particular colleges and to plan initial visits.
I meet with sophomores and their parents to help them get the ball rolling. We talk about a student’s interests and what sort of college they might be interested in attending. We come up with an initial list of colleges—this will surely change over time, but it’s wise to get started early. I help families plan their strategies for visiting colleges to make the best use of their time and resources.
Sophomore year is the time students should get serious about their extracurricular activities. The options are much broader than most people realize. I help students sort out their priorities and think creatively about how they will spend their non-academic time during the school year and during the summer. We discuss why it’s important to have a strategy when applying to colleges and how to develop the right strategy for the particular student.