What should a Junior do to prepare for college admissions

Your ACT/SAT score is something that most schools will review

By Violet W

For juniors, college applications are right around the corner and will be here before they know it. College applications that stand out from the crowd aren’t built in just a few weeks or months.

Here are a few things juniors should start doing as soon as possible to create a successful college application:

Review your testing plan


Your ACT/SAT score is something that most schools will review. While many schools remain test-optional, only some are, with universities like Georgetown, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Georgia Tech all requiring you to submit scores. Especially for very selective schools, your standardized test scores will matter. You might have to take the test multiple times, so it’s best to start preparing now.

Concentrate on your academics 


Admission officers look at what classes you are taking versus what is available. Did you challenge yourself? You don’t have to take every AP course available, but you should take at least a few Honors and AP courses each year. You want to showcase to the admissions officers that you can handle the added rigor of an AP class. Colleges will look at your grades throughout this year; it is important to put your full effort into your academics. Find a balance between your extracurriculars and academics and discover what is right for you.

Plan your summer


The summer before your senior year is the last chance for students to build their resumes. Attending competitive summer programs and getting hands-on experience can help students prove their interest in their field of study.

Students might also consider volunteering, shadowing, or working on a passion project to fill out their resume further. Remember – there is no need to do every activity available. It is better to build on your interests and add layers to your activities than start five new activities this summer.

Letters of Recommendation 


Before school ends for the summer, students should identify who they want to ask for a letter of recommendation. Most schools require two teacher recommendations, so you’ll want to determine who will give you the best and most personalized recommendation.

Visit Colleges


Spring and summer breaks are perfect opportunities for juniors to visit colleges. It’s a good idea to visit a variety of different schools: private vs. public and big vs. medium vs. small, to see what type of environment you would thrive in. You don’t need to visit every school on your list; focus on a few to help you build your college list.

Brainstorm College Essays

The personal statement is the best way to showcase your personality on the application. By starting to write it the summer before your senior year, you can produce a well-thought-out essay that showcases your personality. Make it personal!

(Violet W is College Counselor & Outreach Coordinator with Moonprep.)

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