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December/January To-Do List for Juniors

  • Think about why you want to go to college and your goals when you get there To prepare for a particular career? Satisfy your intellectual curiosity? Increase your options?

  • Figure out your best standardized test We don’t yet know what colleges will require test-wise in light of the pandemic. To keep your options open, take a diagnostic test to see if the ACT or SAT is your better test. Then prepare to take a “real” one at least once in spring semester.

  • Keep up your grades Junior year grades are particularly scrutinized by colleges and the GPA you end up with is the one you will apply with.

  • Get your extracurriculars together If you need to strengthen your leadership, community service, or other activities, now is the time to get going. Even during lockdown, there are virtual opportunities to explore.

  • Attend visits by college reps Your school will likely offer these online; this is a great time to make a connection with the people who will eventually read your application.

  • Make plans for summer The summer between 11th and 12th grade is the time to take a class or attend a program on a college campus, do volunteer work, or get a job. Since we don’t yet know what next summer will look like, you may want to explore both in-person and virtual opportunities.

  • Virtually visit colleges Walking on the campuses of different schools will give you an idea of the variety of options available to you, and help you develop your preferences. While some colleges are currently providing tours by appointment, if you can’t visit in person, most schools offer you a way to check out their campuses online.


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