• Continue to take college prep and honors classes.
  • Expand your interests by joining new clubs and activities.
  • Take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) for practice. When you fill out your test sheet, make sure you check the box that releases your name to colleges so you can start receiving information from them.
  • Ask your guidance counselor about the American College Testing program’s PLAN (Pre-ACT) assessment program, which helps determine your study habits and academic progress and interests.
  • Strengthen relationships with teachers and counselors as they can help you later on in your search.
  • Become familiar with general college entrance requirements.
  • Participate in your school’s or state’s career development activities, such as Career Days.


  • Discuss your PSAT score with your counselor and devise an action plan for areas that need improving.
  • Get involved in activities outside the classroom through community service and other volunteer activities.
  • Seek out leadership positions in the activities that you enjoy the most.
  • Work on your writing skills—it will come in handy for your application essays and anything you choose to study.  
  • Discuss college cost factors with your parents/guardians and investigate options, such as scholarships.   
  • Tour a nearby college, if possible. Visit relatives or friends who live on or near a college campus. Check out the dorms, go to the library and student center, and then begin to think about what type of college you want to attend.
  • Investigate summer enrichment programs.


  • Keep your grades up so you can have the highest GPA and class rank possible.
  • Ask your counselor about Advanced Placement (AP) courses to take over the summer or next year.
  • Continue to explore interests and careers that you might like and talk to your counselor about them.
  • Go onto college websites and find out their academic requirements for admission.
  • Read all of the mail you receive from colleges and make notes of what you like and dislike.
  • Attend college fairs.  Pick up literature on colleges that catch your eye and talk to admission counselors from colleges you’ve started investigating.
  • Begin looking for a summer job and research potential employers.


  • Visit a few more local college campuses to begin zeroing in on the type of college you would prefer (two-year or four-year, small or large, rural or urban).
  • Talk to friends and relatives about their college experience and use that to help define what you are looking for.
  • Read as many books as possible from a comprehensive reading list as it will help prepare you for the amount of reading expected of you in college.
  • Set up a filing system for interested, maybes and no’s.  Learn more about those in the first two categories.

Go here to learn what you should be doing as a junior.