The second year of high school comes with an increase in homework and more important decisions. It's time to start familiarizing yourself with the college application process and the different kinds of applications (for example, the Common Application vs. the Coalition Application). Your school may invite representatives from different colleges and universities to come speak about their campuses and what their schools have to offer—sign up for as many of these as you can! It will help you understand the differences between private and public, large and small, and urban vs. suburban schools. Academic Pathways is ready to help you weigh these factors and navigate the steps below.
This second high school year is an ideal time to review activities related to your son or daughter's college path. Our experienced academic consultants will advise your son or daughter on course choices, extra curricular activities, and college choices, all geared toward achieving their goals. > learn more
Maintaining a GPA despite all that's new and the added pressures applied is critical to future college admissions. We will work with your student on an individual subject while learning tips that will help your son or daughter the rest of his or her life. > learn more
Gaining access to the country's best schools requires high scores on the biggest tests. These include the ACT, SAT, PSAT, SSAT, ISEE, and HSPT tests. We offer sample tests and work with your student to improve his or her score. > learn more
YOUR REALISTIC GOALS
There may be subjects that are extremely difficult for you. While it's important to choose a challenging curriculum, you need to set realistic goals based on your own strengths and abilities. Choose courses that challenge you, but are not completely beyond your abilities. Performing well in an easier class is better than failing a difficult one. Select classes that strike the right balance for your abilities. It is always okay to ask for help!
What you decide to do outside of class time is becoming more important. Participate in the clubs you enjoy, but be sure you are making meaningful contributions or assuming leadership positions when you can. This will give you something to say when it comes time to write your college essays. Focus on one or two activities that really mean something to you. Many universities would rather see that you made a substantial impact in your activities, even if that means being involved in fewer of them.
Excellence Over Extra-ness: Colleges are looking for quality, not quantity.
YOUR STANDARDIZED TESTS
It is time to start preparing for standardized tests with the goal of getting the scores you want. Once you are fully prepared after taking a fair number of simulated practice tests at home or at AP, register for and take your first official SAT and ACT tests (which will help you decide if you prefer one over the other). Academic Pathways can help you put together a test prep calendar and provide you with the testing strategies you need to be successful.
Must-Do: Take at least 2-3 full-length, simulated practice exams before taking your official SAT or ACT. Ideally you will take far more than that in order to maximize your preparation and performance. Though you may feel ready to put your scores on the books, it is of the utmost importance that you are familiar with these essential tests in real time before doing so.
YOUR FREE TIME
Make summer plans! There are so many interesting and meaningful summer programs. This will require some research, and your advisors at Academic Pathways are here to help you make the most of your summers.
Start researching colleges that sound interesting and learning about what applying to those schools would require. Build a list of what you are looking for in a school. For example, research sororities / fraternities, athletics, weather, size, and location. Start learning about the many steps required in putting together a strong, complete application. We look forward to helping you research and fine-tune your list of schools.