2017 February College Readiness Tips


This is a busy time of year for juniors. Please help them get ready for college by following our tips, so they can move strongly into college application season.

  • College visits: Tell students to visit colleges during their spring vacation and other school days off. This way they can see colleges in session. Book tours, information sessions, class visits, overnights, interviews, and visits with current students. If you can’t visit colleges, many groups of colleges and along with the NACAC college fairs will come to your towns.
  • Testing: Creating a testing schedule that embeds best practices will make the spring less stressful for juniors.
    • Take the writing section each time. While many colleges don’t require it, many others do, and won’t look at a test without the writing score. I had a client receive a 35 on the ACT without writing, and a 31 on it with writing, and colleges would only look at the 31.
    • Help students develop their testing schedule for SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP tests. They should plan to take each one, except the AP tests, at least two times this spring. Sophomore and juniors should look to see which Subject Tests they could take this spring. While fewer colleges are requiring them, these hour-long tests are a great additional tool to help students reveal their academic talents to colleges.
    • Practice, practice, practice. Becoming better at testing requires rehearsals and practices. Like athletics and artists, we should never go into testing underprepared. So practice.
  • College research: Help juniors use the resources around them to research colleges. They can find maps, major finders, online campus tours, and more. There are many online college fairs and workshops in which they can participate.
  • Social media privacy: Make sure kids make their social media accounts private. More and more colleges claim they are checking with applicants’ social media. Applicants should rename their accounts. Their sites should show no information to anyone who is not a friend.
  • Senior year schedules. Many schools have kids pick classes for senior year in February. Make sure kids do not give up core content areas. Kids need a full schedule that is as hard and challenging as possible. If they can’t fit a key class into their school schedule, they can take it online or at a local community college. Colleges love academic initiative.
  • Leadership roles. Please make sure you encourage students to take on leadership roles in their activities. Colleges are looking for kids who take initiative and who are leaders. Look for ways to expand current organizations and lead them in new and creative ways.
  • Powerful summers. Remember colleges expect students to be as productive as possible during their summers. They can use summers for taking college classes, working, volunteering, doing an internship, studying for the SAT/ACT. There are great programs for all students. Applications are due soon.
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About rjoseph

I am the creator and visionary behind this site. I want to do everything I can to help students consider college as an option, even when they may be the first in their family to go or may not have the funds at hand. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right or the ability to go to college.

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