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- Manage your time outside of the classroom. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose to participate in the sports and clubs that interest you most. According to ACT research, involvement in high school activities is often associated with higher ACT Composite scores, regardless of a student’s GPA.
- Sign-up for the sophomore monthly newsletter. Stay on top of everything you should be doing sophomore year with helpful articles, infographics, and eBooks sent directly to your inbox.
- Meet with your counselor. Your counselor can help you map out your path in high school and help you prepare for life after graduation. Learn how to make the most out of your conversation with your counselor. Try to meet with your counselor at least once a year.
- Take a practice ACT. This will help you recognize the types of questions asked on the ACT and give you a better understanding of the test’s format. Identify areas that need improvement and take time to sharpen those skills with ACT Academy, a free online learning tool designed to help you with your coursework and prepare for the ACT.
- Collect college information. Start researching colleges and programs that you’re interested in pursuing. Bookmark websites, ask teachers about their college experience, and talk to older students about their future plans.
- Register for core courses. Meet with your counselor to help schedule your core classes. Remember, ACT recommends 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies. ACT research has consistently found that students who take the recommended core curriculum are more likely to be ready for college or career than those who do not.
- Compare colleges. As you research colleges online, be sure to note things, like… the location, majors offered, comfort level, and cost. When you have to start narrowing down your choices, this information will help you identify what’s most important to you. Download the college list worksheet to keep track of these qualities.
- Start searching for scholarships. Scholarships are merit-based financial aid awarded to students by the government or private sources. Scholarships are often based on exceptional ability in a variety of areas, including: school, sports, art, theater, leadership, community service, and more. Start looking online for scholarships that align with your qualifications. Your school counselor can also help you identify scholarships opportunities.
- Explore all of your options. Not sold on college? There are plenty of career opportunities for high school graduates who are interested in pursuing a different path. Consider looking into apprenticeships or internships when trying to decide your path after graduation. Read some tips for finding employment directly after high school.
- Consider getting a part-time job. Having a part-time job will help you start saving for college early and teaches valuable life skills like teamwork, problem solving, money management, and staying productive. Keeping a part-time job can open the door for potential references for college applications and scholarship opportunities.
- Look at volunteer opportunities. Volunteering can help you build work skills and make connections that could help with job recommendations and mentorship down the road.
- Keep your mind sharp. Sign up to receive regular practice questions from ACT. This will help you better understand the format of the ACT and the types of questions that you’ll be expected to answer. It’s a simple way to stay engaged throughout the summer.