- Challenge yourself academically by taking advanced, dual credit, or AP class for your best subjects. Ask your counselor or academic advisor for help selecting your best courses.
- Stay focused on keeping your grades up--grades are important to college admissions officers.
- READ novels, poetry, non-fiction books, news from reputable sources, research papers, and long-form articles.
- If you are a sophomore in the top 10%: study for and take the PSAT.
- If you're taking an AP class this year: consider sitting for the AP exam (May). If you're concerned about your readiness, check in with your teacher for advice.
- At the end of the sophomore year, take a practice ACT and SAT to determine which test may be better for you, then set up a testing timeline.
- Participate in non-academic extracurricular activities (three activities is ideal).
- Sophomores: See if you can deepen your involvement or take on a leadership role in the activities you’ve already been doing. Or step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
- Create and update a resume of with any new activities, accomplishments, or leadership roles.
- Develop your time management and study skills
- Continue exploring your interests during the summer. This could be through a job, internship, volunteer experience, or self-designed project.
- Start your college search by doing some of the following activities:
- Attend a local college fair.
- Explore your college interests by updating your preferences on CollegeVine.com.
- Plan a college visit with your family while on vacation or look up a summer camp that you can attend at a university.
- Take a career assessment and check to see that the schools you are interested in offer majors in the area that you want to study. See the Careers page of this website for some exploration ideas.
- Research and apply to scholarships—at least two per month!
- Parents: Start exploring how to pay for college and set up a college budget.
- If you think you may play Division I or II sports in college:
- Familiarize yourself with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requirements. Then double-check that all of your courses are NCAA-approved. Not all high school classes count towards their requirements.
- As a sophomore, register for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Clearinghouse.
- As a sophomore, Register for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) Eligibility Center.
- Let your high school counselor know you’re considering college athletics.