JU­NIOR YEAR

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - PLAN FOR COLLEGE -

• Main­tain­ing your grades dur­ing your ju­nior year is im­por­tant.

• Be sure that ev­ery course you take helps pre­pare you for col­lege. Col­leges will look at course­work take and ex­pect rigor (chal­leng­ing work) in your choices. Ad­vanced Place­ment (AP) and hon­ors cour­ses help pre­pare a stu­dent for col­lege.

• If you are an Ok­la­homa’s Prom­ise stu­dent be sure you are tak­ing the proper course­work to qual­ify and that you are main­tain­ing a good GPA.

• Make sure you're chal­leng­ing your­self aca­dem­i­cally. Col­leges will con­sider how dif­fi­cult your cour­ses are.

• Now is the time to re­ally fo­cus your ca­reer and col­lege re­search.

• Do a thor­ough re­view.

Ask for a copy of your tran­script and eval­u­ate your­self. Look at your class rank and GPA. Look for any gaps or low points and seek ad­vice from your coun­selor on ways to im­prove these ar­eas.

• As you re­search ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer op­tions, share your dis­cov­er­ies with your fam­ily.

• Keep talk­ing. Con­tinue your con­ver­sa­tions with your guid­ance coun­selor, teach­ers, fam­ily mem­bers or other trusted adults about your plans af­ter high school. Talk with fam­ily and friends about their ed­u­ca­tional choices.

• Stay in­volved in school and com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties. This looks good on your re­sume for schol­ar­ships and col­lege ap­pli­ca­tions.

• Talk to your guid­ance coun­selor (or teach­ers, if you don't have ac­cess to a guid­ance coun­selor) about the fol­low­ing:

— Avail­abil­ity of and en­roll­ment in AP classes — Con­cur­rent en­roll­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties: tak­ing col­lege-level cour­ses be­fore you grad­u­ate from high school

— Sched­ules and im­por­tant dead­lines and dates for the PSAT, ACT and AP ex­ams, SAT I and II

— Ask which of these ex­ams would be the best fit for your fu­ture — and sign up for those tests. Re­mem­ber, you can al­ways change your mind

• Re­view your aca­demic record with your coun­selor and talk about ways to im­prove.

• Find out the ad­mis­sion re­quire­ments for the col­leges you're in­ter­ested in. Do your re­search and be sure to find out about any ad­di­tional re­quire­ments be­sides GPA and test scores.

FALL SE­MES­TER Au­gust:

• Ob­tain sched­ules and forms for the ACT and Ad­vanced Place­ment ex­ams and or SAT I, SAT II.

Septem­ber:

• Reg­is­ter for the PSAT exam of­fered in Oc­to­ber.

• Re­mem­ber that when you take the PSAT in your ju­nior year, the scores will count to­wards the Na­tional Achieve­ment Pro­gram (and it is good prac­tice for the SAT I).

• Start a file for col­lege cat­a­logs and other ad­mis­sions in­for­ma­tion.

• Keep an eye out for col­lege nights at any schools in your area you may want to at­tend.

Oc­to­ber:

• Take the PSAT if you reg­is­tered for it this month.

• Visit col­leges, talk to re­cruiters, and learn about pro­grams of­fered. Nar­row your list of col­leges to in­clude a few col­leges with re­quire­ments at your cur­rent GPA, a few with re­quire­ments above your cur­rent GPA, and at least one with re­quire­ments be­low your GPA.

• Be­gin sched­ul­ing in­ter­views with ad­mis­sions coun­selors.

• If pos­si­ble, sched­ule tours of the school grounds on the same days. You and your par­ent(s) may want to visit the col­leges and univer­si­ties dur­ing spring break and sum­mer va­ca­tion so you don't have to miss school.

De­cem­ber:

• You will re­ceive your scores from the Oc­to­ber PSAT if you took it that month.

• De­pend­ing on the re­sults, you may want to con­sider sign­ing up for free on­line SAT prep.

SPRING SE­MES­TER

If you're choos­ing your se­nior year classes, look for classes that will give you a strong tran­script.

You'll also want to look for classes that will fit your col­lege study plans. Con­sider look­ing for a sum­mer job or in­tern­ship. Not only can you earn money for col­lege, you can also learn valu­able skills.

Jan­uary:

• Con­tinue with your cam­pus tours on­line or in per­son. You want to be nar­row­ing down your list of po­ten­tial col­leges.

Fe­bru­ary:

• Reg­is­ter for the March

SAT or the April ACT, or both.

• Re­search the re­quire­ments of the col­leges you're in­ter­ested in to learn about ad­mis­sion dead­lines and which tests to take.

March:

• Take the March SAT I exam if you reg­is­tered to take it this month.

• If pos­si­ble, sched­ule tours of cam­puses on the same days. Your fam­ily may want to visit the col­leges and univer­si­ties dur­ing spring break and sum­mer va­ca­tion so you don't have to miss school.

April:

• Take the April ACT test if you reg­is­tered for this month.

May:

• Take the AP, SAT I and SAT II ex­ams.

• Talk to teach­ers about writ­ing let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion for you. Think about what you would like to in­clude in these and po­litely ask your teach­ers if they can help.

June:

• Add any new re­port cards, test scores, hon­ors or awards from the year to your file.

• Take the ACT tests, and SAT I, SAT II if you're reg­is­tered. If there is one sub­ject area you need to im­prove on, fo­cus on study­ing for that area to help in­crease your score.

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