Sophomore Year

You’re Ready To Sharpen Your Focus

Check out this site for a fun and informative checklist into how to kick-start your college and career plans: know how to go

Concentrate on academic preparation and continue to develop basic skills and co-curricular interests.


  • If you plan on taking the ACT, talk to your guidance counselor about taking the PLAN this fall. The PLAN is a preliminary standardized test that will give you some preparation for the ACT. PLAN does not have national testing dates, so ask your guidance counselor if/when it will be offered by your school.
  • Take NCAA-approved courses if you want to play sports in college.


  • Take the PSAT.  This gives you practice for the SAT next year and also a way to identify areas you should work on improving. The results will not be used for college admission.
  • Sign up, if you have not done so already, for co-curricular activities that interest you. The level of involvement and accomplishment is most important, not the number of activities.
  • Keep a record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work, and employment (all year).


  • Make sure you are “on top” of your academic work. If necessary, meet with your teacher for additional help.
  • Save your best work in academic courses and the arts for your academic portfolio (all year).


  • Receive results of the PSAT. Read materials sent with your score report. Consult your guidance counselor to explore ways to improve on future standardized tests and courses to discuss which may be required or beneficial for your post-high school plans.


  • Keep studying!
  • Volunteer-a great way to identify your interests and to develop skills.


  • It is never too early to start researching colleges and universities. Visit the Career Center to browse through literature and guidebooks or surf the Web and check out college and university home pages.


  • NACAC has developed a list of on-line resources to help you plan for college.


  • Research career options and consider possible college majors that will help you achieve your career goals.


  • Plan now for wise use of your summer. Consider taking a summer course or participating in a special program (e.g., for prospective engineers or journalists or for those interested in theatre or music) at a local college or community college. Consider working or volunteering.


  • If you work, save some of your earnings for college.
  • Read, read, read


  • During the summer, you may want to sign up for a PSAT/SAT prep course, use computer software, or do the practice tests in books designed to familiarize you with standardized tests.


  • Make your summer productive. Continue reading to increase your vocabulary.