THE BLOG
01/05/2015 12:16 pm ET Updated Mar 07, 2015

New Year, New Semester: College Prep for Juniors

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Happy new year to all! 2015 will certainly be an exciting years for juniors! It's best for juniors to start their college prep early. There are so many details to consider. If juniors plan properly, they may even enjoy the process.

Do become familiar with a personal calendar in the new semester and jot these reminders down:

1. Start prepping for your standardized testing - SAT I/ Subject Tests (SAT II's), ACT with writing exams and create a calendar of testing dates and registration deadlines. Aim to complete all of your testing by the end of your junior year, but understand that senior year offers more test date opportunities if need be. Visit: https://www.collegeboard.org/ and http://www.act.org for information.

2. Juniors should keep their grades up in all of their classes. Colleges like to see an upward trend and junior year grades are extremely important. Your challenging curriculum and the rigor of your program is vital as well. So challenge yourself and take some harder courses.

3. If you are taking Advanced Placement courses, learn about the AP exams as these are administered in May by the College Board.

4. Check in with your high school counselor regularly. The counselor will be writing college recommendations for you and the better they know you, the stronger they can make their recommendations.

5. Juniors should continue working on their resume/activities List (brag sheet). This is a work in progress that juniors will add to as time moves on. The final draft will be used to give to those writing recommendations and will also assist in completing college applications.

6. Check at your school to see when their college night or college fair is scheduled. Parents should attend as well, if possible. This is an opportunity to meet college representatives from around the country. Visit this website for information.

7. It is not too soon to start thinking about summer programs or activities now. Many summer programs juniors might want to enroll in begin filling up by February and require specific applications. Juniors may also be visiting colleges, writing essays, and updating resumes in the summer as well.

8. For some students, a community college course is a good time to sample real college life by taking a course in something in which they are genuinely interested. A student may also need to make up for a lower grade in a specific course. Learn what colleges are in your area and what courses will be available.

9. Begin to plan any college visits. Many colleges let you sign up for information tours online. Get on college mailing lists if you intend to apply to that college.

So, in this new year and new semester, juniors have a wonderful opportunity to get a jump-start on their college prep. With good time management the college process can be informative and pleasurable.

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