Junior year is a pivotal year in a student’s high school education. They will start making decisions at this point about college choice, honors courses, test preparation, and more. It’s important not to leave too many important decisions for Senior year because most of the final year of high school will focus on college applications.
Visit colleges and universities
If students have not started to visit colleges and universities in person, they should definitely do so their Junior year. Making an on-site visit to look at the campus and get a feel for what life would be like at a particular institution helps students get excited about attending college and get in the mindset of transitioning into young adulthood. Students who apply to several out-of-state colleges might not be able to visit every single campus but they should at least go to a few local campuses to get a feel for what college life will be like.
Meet with a college counselor
When students are in their junior year there is still time to pivot their education if they need to achieve something specific to apply to a particular college. For instance, maybe they absolutely have to have a particular number of honors courses in order to meet an application requirement. or maybe they need to achieve a specific score on a standardized test. Students who speak with a college counselor regularly and early, will have the opportunity to work with their test prep tutor to raise their standardized test scores or sign up for the right honors courses each semester.
Start thinking about career options
It may seem early for students to start thinking about potential careers in 11th grade and, realistically, many students will change their minds about career options several times. However, it’s good for a student at this stage to understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as what their career interests are. It’s great if Juniors have some idea field they would like to go into even if they don’t have a specific job title in mind.
Sign up for standardized tests
A lot of students dread the idea of signing up for their standardized tests, however for many colleges they are still a requirement or recommendation. If students need to take a standardized test to fill out their college applications, it’s a good idea to find out which test they should be taking at this stage. One of the best things students can do is take a practice test in a low stress environment to see what their potential score range will be. This will help their test prep tutor target their sessions to focus on what the student needs to improve while also reinforcing the items the student is already good at.