Junior Year Checklist: Your College Prep Guide

Did you put off college preparation a little bit in your junior year of high school and now need a junior year checklist? Don’t worry; you’re not too far behind yet and we have the tools get you where you need to be. If you need to know everything you have to tackle in the next few months, check out our downloadable junior year checklist.

Sign Up for the ACT or SAT

You likely took your PSAT already earlier in your junior year, but have you signed up and started study for your ACT or SAT yet? Make this a top priority on your junior year checklist! There are plenty of test dates for you to take advantage of in the months ahead, so try to grab one that gives you enough time to study beforehand. You’ll also want to be sure you have a buffer after the test date – it’s recommended you take either test at least once! So, you’ll want to have a second test date planned for the future as well.

And you don’t want to just sit around and wait for your test date. You need to actually study. You can:

  • Download apps that help you study a little each day
  • Schedule study time each week on each of the different sections
  • Identify your weak and strong areas of either test
  • Create flash cards
  • Take practice exams
  • Find a study buddy
  • Get a tutor

Select Your Senior Classes

One thing you may not have put a lot of thought into when it comes to college prep is your senior year’s classes. During senior year, many students already have a majority of requirements out of the way. It’s likely you’re going to have a schedule full of electives!

So what should you take? It’s a good idea to talk to your guidance counselor about your ideas after graduation and your career goals. They can help you determine the best courses to help you achieve those aspirations.

Some tips:

  • You don’t want to select all “easy” courses. Although it can be easy to get all A’s in these types of classes, colleges will notice if you phoned it in during your course selection.
  • Think about what interests you. What electives sound interesting to you? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a class!
  • Consider hobbies. From cooking to photography to drama, high schools tend to offer a wide array of different types of courses available to seniors. What’s something that you could pick up as a hobby, even after you graduate, that you can learn about now?
  • Take a college course or two. Many high schools offer AP or college courses available to senior students. Weigh the pros and cons of these to determine which is best for your education.

Narrow Down Your College List

And, of course, you’ll want to consider that college list of yours! Spring break is the perfect time to visit colleges, but you’ll need to think about which schools to visit first. It’s okay if you visit them in the summer, too, instead of the spring.

To craft your list, think about

  • Where do you want to go to college?
  • What size school will fit you?
  • What do you want to major in?
  • What are some must haves in your college and the college’s city?
  • What is important to you in a college?

You don’t have to apply to these schools just yet but doing a bit of legwork sooner rather than later can ensure you have a good list when you do have to send in applications. Using the right resources, too, will definitely help you narrow your list.