Though the bulk of the actual college application and test-prep work usually happens from the summer after tenth grade through senior year, there is plenty to do as rising freshman and sophomores to prepare for the college process and get on the right track. This is what I suggest:
Introduce them to the many paths available after high school
- career types and education and experience required to get there
- types of higher education available
Help them learn about themselves
- discover and utilize their strengths, weaknesses, personality type and learning style
- discover what it is they most enjoy
- find what they desire in education and in life
- help them discover what they need to do to reach their goals
Set them up with a personalized student portal where they can research colleges, universities and requirements and keep their research organized.
Have them take a full practice SAT and a full practice ACT ***
- the process of taking the full retired test demystifies the test and reduces the anxiety that comes from not knowing what to expect (The PSAT and ACT shortened version are NOT the same as the full-length test. The fact that they are not as long, eliminates the important components of pacing and endurance.)
- comprehensive diagnostic results highlight strengths and weaknesses
- results can motivate students to stay focused in school, see why what they are learning matters, and keep them on-task during the busy and demanding times that lie ahead for them
- the experience and results help students determine which test will be the better one for them
***I am recommending that students who will graduate from high school in 2017 focus on only the ACT at this time. The new SAT, which the class of 2017 will be taking, is not yet released. The new format will be significantly different from the current SAT.
Important Note for Athletes who have potential to verbally commit early to a college - You may want to take the steps above as early as the summer before 8th grade. This will help you find a “best-fit” college/university where you can play your sport, fit-in academically and socially, and reach your personal and academic goals.
Click here for my rising freshman/rising sophomore/potential early commit package. All services can be performed either in person or virtually with the exception of the practice tests which should be completed in person.
Sandy Aprahamian, EDNavigators