Grade Levels » Junior Year

Junior Year

Checklist of objectives to complete your Junior year.
You're getting close!
• Check with your academic counselor to be sure you are on track to take the college prep
subjects needed for selective four-year college or universities.
• Maintaining A's and B's is especially important during this year and you should be
spending a minimum of 2 hours of homework each night.
  • Plan to enroll in the Serra SAT Prep workshop (Five workshops available through the school year--including summer)
• Register for the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test) in October. The
PSAT is a practice exam for the SAT I and is required for several national scholarship
programs. (Serra pre-registers all students in grades 9th through 11th)
• Take the PSAT in October. The results will give you and your counselor an idea of your
strengths and the areas you need to improve upon as you prepare for college
• If you are taking Advance Placement subjects register for the AP exams in spring.
Scoring well on these exams will enable you to earn credit for college-level courses.
• Attend college fairs and presentations by colleges who visit your school.
• Most schools and libraries have computers to help you search for college and
university information. All college counseling offices have college catalogs,
guidebooks and directories for researching your college options.
• Create a file on your favorite colleges. Ask for literature about admission, financial aid
and your proposed major. Your counselor can provide contact information about
admission offices.
• Visit colleges and universities that interest you. Call ahead to book a campus tour
and a presentation about academic programs, admission and financial aid.
• Think about when and how often to take the SAT I or ACT. Your school counselor
can help you with this decision. Taking the SAT I or ACT in the spring or summer lets
you get your results and meet with a counselor to see if you should re-test in the fall.
Register for these exams a month in advance of the test date. Don't forget to take a SAT Test Preparation Class! 
• Update your resume file. Investigate summer programs, workshops and camps in
your community or college. Some programs offer scholarships.
• See an academic counselor about taking the SAT Subject Exam(s).
• From May to July be prepared to receive mail from many colleges. Read the college
mail you receive. Return reply cards to schools that interest you. They will send you
viewbooks, catalogs, CDs/DVDs and applications.
• Visit your "short list" colleges. Prepare for the SAT or the ACT by reading books
and manuals with testing tips and sample questions.
Myth #3 - "You must find the 'perfect' college"
The perfect college probably does not exist. The best way to determine which is the right school for you is to research three or four college and that meet your criteria and then visit each one
Myth #4 - "Telling a university that you are applying for financial aid may hurt your chances for admission"
Not true! Selective colleges do not let a family's financial ability enter into the admission decision.
Myth #5 - "Admission staff consider only grades and test scores when considering an applicant"
Also not true! Selective colleges are also interested in the rigor of of the subjects taken, the competitiveness of the school, and upward or downward trends in grades. The essay, as well as extracurricular and leadership activities, talent and personal character are also very important. A word of caution! Accomplishments in extracurricular activities and leadership activities cannot make up for a poor academic record.