Your high school Junior year is the best time to explore the possibilities ahead of you - whether those possibilities include college, travel, or a career. Now is the time to ask questions about your future, shadow perspective colleges, intern, take interest surveys, and set up a checking and/or savings account.
Your Junior year is the last complete year that colleges may review, so it's important to maintain good grades. Keep in close touch with your guidance counselor about your grades and course selection.
Month Ahead of You...
Register for and take the PSAT Test that will be held in October.
By taking the PSAT, you can gain knowledge that will assist you when it comes time to take the SAT I and II. Also, by taking this test, you will be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
You may also want to consider registering for the ACT or SAT offered in the spring of your junior year, if you haven't taken it already. If you aren't pleased with your score, you will still have another opportunity your senior to take the test again. You will also be placed on various schools' mailing lists if you select as being interested what their school offers.
TIPS FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR
Preparing for the year ahead of you does not require a specific time period.
Choosing a school
This is an important component of determine the right college for you.
This includes attending college fairs and college financial aid sessions. Start the process of visiting college campuses to see which ones suit you. Research colleges through their websites, college fairs, admissions representatives, and applications, books, and college guides.
By doing this, you will get an idea of what's required and have tangible insight on the potential schools for you.
Explore career interest paths.
Discuss possible career paths with your guidance counselor, based on your interests. Ask your counselor about a computer-based career and educational guidance system.
Build/create a resume
Create and build a resume about yourself that highlights you outside of school. The school to which you are applying will already know your grades and test scores since these are included on your school transcript.
Items that should be included are:
Heading with your name, address, and email
Awards & Recognitions
Community Activities & Service
the princeton review's Tips for Composing Your College Admissions Resume
1. Keep it concise.
Pare down the activities you showcase to the most brag-worthy and most representative of you as a candidate. Do colleges need to know that you were on the field hockey team for one semester in Grade 9? Probably not. The standard rule of thumb is to stick to one or two pages.
2. Focus on depth and length of commitment.
When deciding which activities and accomplishments make the cut, keep in mind that colleges would much rather see you excited about one or two key experiences than sporadic involvement in 20 clubs. If having an after-school job limited your ability to participate in clubs or sports, make sure your resume plays up your work responsibilities, training, and on-the-job skills.
3. Provide detail whenever possible.
The details are what set a resume apart from a list of extracurriculars on a standard college application. For example, when describing your involvement in the French Club make sure to include:
school years/hours per week you participated
specific contributions (e.g. "Organized a successful after-school film series to introduce our community to French cinema and culture" )
leadership roles (e.g. "Treasurer, Grade 12" )
unique details that will make you stand out
4. Highlight things you weren’t able to write about in your college essays or short answers.
Use your high school resume to show colleges something new. If your devotion to photography didn’t make it on the application, but is a big part of who you are, then showcase your photography credential on your resume.
5. Formatting is key.
Make your resume easy to scan. Divide information into sections with clear headings, bulleted lists, and a consistent font. Use a system of organization that works for you. (Chronological, by importance of activity, or by time commitment are a few options.) Don’t forget to proofread!
6. Be honest and accurate.
Colleges know how to spot inconsistencies in your application materials, and they won’t hesitate to call your counselor to verify information that doesn't seem right. So don't tell them that you have practice for the school play for 30 hours per week—unless drama club is somehow your full-time job!
Admissions and preparation
Make note of registration deadlines and prepare for the upcoming SAT I and SAT II tests and the ACT assessment.
When researching colleges, be sure to note whether they require the SAT I, SAT II test or the ACT assessment. Some colleges will require or recommend one or the other, others accept either.
Your counselor also can provide guidance. Prepare for the test(s) you plan to take. Take a test preparation class to assist you. For more information, talk with your high school guidance counselor.
Read, read, and read some more!
Apply for scholarships NOW!
Stay active in extracurricular activities! This is KEY! While your grades are important, colleges want to also know what you do outside of the classroom. Colleges and universities like to see you involved in art, community service, sports, student government, and leadership roles when available.