What to Do Each Year: 10th Grade

I’m in 10th grade. What should I be doing now to prepare for college?

With one year behind you, sophomore year is when you really feel settled into high school, but already it’s time to be looking ahead and making sure your decisions and actions will keep options open in the future.

  • Continue to challenge yourself academically, but strive for balance. If you are ready for a challenge, take optional honors in a class or two (or three!). 
  • Read. Aim for variety. Grow your knowledge and your vocabulary. 
  • Get involved: Colleges care about the whole you, not just your grades & test scores. They want to know you can balance activities and academics. Find something you really enjoy and dive in.
  • Start thinking of ways to show initiative & investment in your areas of interest. 
  • Take the PSAT in October. View this as a chance to experience the test before it matters and to see how your scores compare with other sophomores in the US. 
  • Start visiting colleges. The sooner you start your visits, the more confident you will feel senior year as you finalize your list. Aim for a variety—a small private, a large public, something in-between–start to get a sense for what you want in a college.
  • Do some career exploration. In English 10, we’ll do some personal inventories and research. Consider trying the YouScience games in Scoir. Talk to professionals in areas of your interest. Consider job shadowing this summer.
  • If a problem comes up, ask for help. If you are having trouble in a class, now is the time to talk about what kind of assistance you might need.
  • Foster good relationships with your teachers (and with your college counselor, wink wink)—they will be the ones to write your recommendation letters.
  • If you have time, do some SAT prep on Khan Academy. Connect through College Board (use the login/password you created to access your PSAT results). 
  • Plan your junior year course load carefully: that’s the one that counts the most. If you plan to apply to highly selective colleges, discuss your schedule with Ms. Hertzler to make sure you’re taking the courses you’ll need.
  • Make summer plans—do something resume building: work, volunteer, take a class, attend a camp, etc.