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Focusing On The High School Timeline: 10th Grade

Although the initial transition is over, 10th grade is still an important step in any student’s high school career. As students enter sophomore year, they should have a set of goals in mind in addition to getting their driver’s license.

Target Goals for High School Sophomores:

Continued academic growth

Hopefully, by the 10th grade, your student has adjusted to high school and is doing well academically. If not, then now is the time to continue to work with your student on organizational skills and study habits. Also, continue to be thoughtful about course selection. Your 10th grader should be able to work hard in her classes and earn As or Bs. Some students are can handle a full plate of advanced classes; others cannot. And that’s OK. There is always a “right fit” college for every student.

Participation in extracurricular activities

Has your student discovered one or two extracurriculars she enjoys? If not, then continue to encourage her to explore. Colleges like to see applicants who have committed time and energy to a couple of extracurriculars. Again, it doesn’t matter which ones. There is no “right” extra curricular.

A preparation plan for college entrance exams

The summer between sophomore and junior year of high school is an excellent time to prepare for admissions tests (the ACT or SAT). Aim for your student to take admissions tests in the fall of junior year. Junior year is a tough year — and unfortunately, the most important admissions-wise — so getting these tests over with early in the year has its advantages.

Exploration of college

Lastly, if you haven’t yet taken some time to read up on the real costs of college — by that we mean, figuring out what your family will likely pay — do so this year. You will head into the college process a more educated consumer. It’s also not too early to get a handle on what today’s college admissions process looks like — and we can tell you in under five minutes (guaranteed).