Most high school juniors have taken the SAT or ACT by now, and it’s time to focus on the next steps in college preparation. The top things juniors should be focused on through the spring are:
1. AP Exams and/or SAT Subject Tests (if applicable to your student)
This May, students will have the opportunity to take AP exams to determine their eligibility for college credit and/or placement beyond prerequisite introductory college courses. Now is the time to enroll in AP reviews and classes, or to prepare for the exams and SAT Subject Tests with individual and/or small group tutoring.
2. Finishing junior year with strong grades
Good grades should be at the top of your student’s list of academic goals this season, since junior year grades are probably the most important ones for the purpose of applying to college. They show colleges that you have learned how to be a good student, particularly if they are stronger than your grades from 9th or 10th grade. Colleges will look at your first semester grades from senior year, but won’t have a chance to do so if you choose to apply Early Decision or Early Action, and have to submit your application by November.
3. Retaking the SAT or ACT (if needed)
If your student received a less-than-desirable score on the SAT or ACT, it may be wise to retake the test now in the late spring of his or her junior year, or later in the fall of his or her senior year. Click here for data on students retaking the SAT, or click here for data on retaking the ACT. We have SAT and ACT test prep courses coming up in late spring. Our SAT test prep course for the June 7th exam is starting next week on April 26th in Seattle, or 27th in Bellevue. Sandweiss Test Prep’s ACT course for the June 14th exam is beginning April 26th in Bellevue and 27th in Seattle.
Remember, the time to finalize the “college list” will come in the fall. There is still plenty of time to visit colleges throughout the spring and summer, and even in late August, when many colleges begin their school year. If your junior waits until this fall when he or she is a senior, there will likely be more access to dorm stays and campus interviews, since most schools only extend this option to seniors.