Sophomore year is where it counts.
Even if you had a tough time transitioning to high school in your freshman year, you can pick up slack in your second year of high school. This year, you should be settled in and more equipped to take on the challenges that lie ahead, including the college preparation process.
Take advanced level courses
- If you aren’t taking any advanced level classes, talk to your guidance counselor about adjusting your schedule to include more difficult courses. Colleges want to see not only a strong GPA, but also an ambitious course load. Advanced classes will show universities that you have challenged yourself, and will better prepare you for a demanding college workload. Students can get college credit from taking AP and IB exams. Each university will have a grade requirement on the AP and IB exams to receive credit. In general, students will want to get a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP exam, or a 5, 6, or 7 for the IB exam. Check out College Board to see what AP scores are required for credit at your prospective universities.
- Talk to your counselor about dual enrollment and college course options. Students can start taking college courses in high school to start building college credits. You can also save money by enrolling in college courses in high school. Credits you take at a university are usually less expensive than enrolling full-time. Not all universities will take dual enrollment credits, so make sure you contact the universities on your list to see whether or not the credits qill transfer. Check out the School District of Philadelphia for more information about dual enrollment.
Keep up with your extracurriculars
- Colleges like to see students involved in outside activities, but they also like to see commitment and dedication. Four years on the high school basketball team is more impressive than an always shifting schedule of extracurriculars. Of course, you should try new things, but try to find that one activity that you are passionate about and want to stick with for the long haul.
Take the tests!
- The PSAT/NMSQT helps students become college ready. It provides detailed feedback on skills, access to scholarships and personalized online tools, and excellent practice for the SAT. Learn More and us fee waivers. Consider taking the SAT Subject Test. Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas where you excel.
- About the SAT Subject Tests
- Practice Questions
- Fee Waivers
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