Road Map: Sophomore Year
College Action Plan: 10th grade
As you settle into the high school experience, it’s a great time to take on new challenges. It’s also not too early to explore colleges, college majors and career goals. Use the list below to help make 10th grade count.
- Make sure you meet with your school counselor.
- Set goals for the school year.
- Think about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for you to identify interests and feel more engaged in school.
- Get ready to take preliminary exams. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT this fall can help you prepare for college admission tests. Sophomores can also use their score reports to figure out which academic areas they need to work on and qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.
- Review PSAT/NMSQT or PLAN results. Your score report indicates his or her academic strengths and weaknesses. Review the report and talk about ways to improve in areas that need attention.
- Start thinking about ways to pay for college. Most families get help paying for college costs. Read 7 Things You Need to Know About Financial Aid to learn more.
- Consider taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course. Learn more about SAT Subject Tests.
- Discuss next year’s classes. Make sure you will be challenging him- or herself and taking the courses college admission officers expect to see. Learn more about the high school classes that colleges look for.
PSAT Scores and More
The College Board will release PSAT/NMSQT Score Reports for students who took the October PSAT starting in December. Students will receive an email when they can view their scores. The following College Board links will assist you and your student once scores have been received:
You can access your PSAT/NMSQT score report online and learn how ready you are for college, explore which AP courses are a good match for you, and get insight into which skills to focus on in order to prepare for the SAT.
Now that you have your PSAT/NMSQT scores, you can link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts to access free, personalized SAT prep on Khan Academy.
- Make a college wish list. Talk with your 10th-grader about qualities he or she may want in a college in terms of location, size, majors offered and so on. Check out How to Find a College That Fits You to learn more about deciding on college must-haves.
- See how much you need to save for college. Use the College Savings Calculator to get an idea of where you are in terms of your savings goal.
- Make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills — and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities. Find out five ways your high schooler can stay motivated this summer.
o Get the facts about what college costs. You may be surprised by how affordable higher education can be. Start by reading Understanding College Costs.
o Explore financial aid options. These include grants and scholarships, loans, and work-study programs that can help pay for college costs. Find out more about how financial aid can make college affordable.
Find a Major
Choose an interest below to get some ideas about possible college majors. What do you like to do? What makes you curious and excited to learn more?
Find a Major
You can browse through majors by choosing an area of study, searching for a specific major, or selecting a major from a list of majors.
Find a Major
For each major, students can look at videos developed by colleges and universities that discuss what the major entails and/or focuses on activities of students in that major.