(excerpts from collegeboard.com )


  • Become reacquainted with your account on PA Career Zone or create an account. 
  • Prepare for the PSAT which is administered in mid October. 
  • Practice at the PSAT Prep Center:  http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/prep.html.
  • Take the practice test in the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) Student Bulletin received when you pay for the test.
  • Get more involved with your extracurricular activities especially those that demonstrate your passion.
  • Maintain a good/excellent academic record all year.



  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT, which can qualify you to receive a National Merit Scholarship.  Be sure to sign up for Student Search Service to hear from colleges and scholarship programs.
  • Attend College Fairs in your area. (Check the Guidance Office bulletin board, local papers, and on-line for information).
  • Make lists of your abilities, preferences and personal qualities.  List things you may want to study and do in college.
  • Jump start your college planning by reading about majors and careers (check resources in the Guidance Office and material online.
  • Use “College Search” at: www.collegeboard.com  to find colleges with the right characteristics.



  • Pay attention to assignments and keep your grades up.
  • Begin thinking about Financial Aid (talk to your counselor, attend college/financial aid night, and use financial aid calculators (www.finaid.org/calculators/) to estimate your aid eligibility and college costs.
  • Maintain extracurricular involvement and community service projects.



  • Use your PSAT/NMSQT Score Report Plus for personalized feedback on your academic skills, and to help you get ready for college and for the SAT, which you will take in the spring.
  • Prepare for the SAT by taking a class, working with printed material and/or by taking a free full-length official practice test at: www.collegeboard.com.  Be sure to sign up for “The Official SAT Question of the Day” for daily practice.
  • Find out about college first hand from college friends who are home for the holidays.



  • Search for colleges/majors/careers online  that match your skills and interests. 
  • Take Interest inventory tests (look on guidance website for a few) or login into your Bridges.com account for more searches. 
  • Plan your spring SAT testing schedule.  You may take either the SAT  or up to three SAT Subject Tests on one test day 
  • Speak with teachers and get extra material to practice for the subject tests if you plan to take them 



  • Register for the March SAT  if you have done sufficient preparation for the exam.  If not, plan to take the SAT I in May or June.
  • Plan to visit colleges this spring during President’s week or spring recess when colleges are in session.
  • Schedule an interview with admissions officers when you visit campuses.
  • Start to explore your college options based on which college characteristics are important to you.
  • Develop an initial list of colleges that interest you.  You can narrow it down later. 




  • Request admissions and financial aid information from the colleges on your list. 
  • Ask your counselor and investigate if the ACT test might be appropriate for you. 
  • Prepare for the AP exams that you will be taking in May.
  • Attend your individual college planning meeting with your counselor.
  • Begin thinking about senior year courses.  Remember to challenge yourself yet leave time for additional activities.



  • Register for the May/June SAT /SAT II Subject Tests and/or the ACT.
  • Search for summer jobs and/or enrichment programs.
  • Attend local College Fairs.
  • Continue to visit colleges during spring recess. 



  • Take the AP, SAT , SAT II, and ACT exams as appropriate.
  • Continue to search for summer activities.



  • Speak with teachers about writing letters of recommendation for you.
  • Take the SAT , SAT II or ACT if appropriate.



  • Visit colleges, take tours, and have interviews.
  • Begin preparing a draft of a college essay.
  • Continue to refine your list of schools.