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Welcome500彩票app to GreatSchools’ interactive college prep timeline!

Here’s what to do month-by-month, year-by-year, to get your high 500彩票 student prepped for and successfully through the college application process.

See college prep timelines for:

9th grade 11th grade 12th grade

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10th grade college prep timeline


Reality-check the schedule

500彩票appReality-check the schedule

Make sure your teen will have time for 500彩票appwork, recreation and rest. Teens need to get enough sleep for their health and learning. Consider instituting a digital curfew for the whole family; research shows that late-night cell phone use has dangerous consequences for teens’ mental health.


Make sure classes count

500彩票appMake sure classes count

Sophomores should be taking courses that will count toward high 500彩票 graduation and getting into college. If you’re not sure if your teen’s courses count, double check with the 500彩票 counselor.


Talk up the extracurriculars

500彩票appTalk up the extracurriculars

Students who participate in extracurricular activities like sports, drama, debate, and music get better grades and have higher self-esteem and lower rates of depression than those who don’t. Kids who devote more than one year to the same activity are more likely to graduate from college.


Help your child develop organizational skills

500彩票appHelp your child develop organizational skills

Staying organized and on top of a demanding schedule is something many adults struggle with. Help your teen develop this important skill for thriving in 500彩票 and life.


. Check with your child’s college counselor to make sure they’re on track with a core curriculum that meets college and NCAA requirements.


A high 500彩票 parent’s guide to saving for college

500彩票appA high 500彩票 parent’s guide to saving for college

It’s never too late to start a college savings plan. Here are 13 smart steps you can take now.


Do a mini grade check—and offer support if needed

500彩票appDo a mini grade check—and offer support if needed

One of the most important things sophomores can do to prepare for the college admissions process is keep their grades up. If your child is struggling with a particular class or could use a study skills boost, now’s the time to seek help and get her the support she needs.


Could your child study smarter?

500彩票appCould your child study smarter?

It might surprise you to know that the most effective study technique isn’t highlighting key passages or re-reading material.


Get the PSAT on your radar

500彩票appGet the PSAT on your radar

Taking the PSAT now is a low-stakes way for your teen to get some practice for the SAT, and the more comfortable and familiar she is with the format, the better. The scores have no bearing on college admissions. If your child isn’t yet ready to take this test, there will be more opportunities in the spring and next fall. Here’s how to formulate a PSAT strategy.


Apply for scholarships (Really!)

500彩票appApply for scholarships (Really!)

It’s not too early; sophomores are eligible for more scholarships than you might think. By applying now, your teen can start amassing funds for college and get valuable practice writing essays, too.


College500彩票 admissions 101

500彩票appCollege500彩票 admissions 101

Consider checking out one of these books on college admissions to help your child get started learning what the process involves.


Talk about career goals

500彩票appTalk about career goals

What does your child want to do they grow up? Have your child pick two possible careers (they can use this list or take a personality test for inspiration) and research what sort of degree they’d need and what the day-to-day life and salaries are like for each.


Encourage a challenge

500彩票appEncourage a challenge

Have your child talk to teachers and/or the 500彩票 counselor about the options for taking honors and AP classes in the next two years. It’ll help your child think about taking on academic challenges.


If your child isn’t thriving, consider alternatives

500彩票appIf your child isn’t thriving, consider alternatives

Is high 500彩票 holding your ambitious teen back? Or is something getting in the way of his success? There are alternatives to high 500彩票 that may help your teen succeed.


Consider summer volunteering opportunities

500彩票appConsider summer volunteering opportunities

Lots of programs send high 500彩票 kids overseas to volunteer. Here’s how to know whether your teenager is mature enough to go abroad, find the right match for his interests, evaluate programs, and figure out how to finance the trip.


Do a grade check

500彩票appDo a grade check

While some colleges don’t consider freshman year grades, sophomore year grades are a different story. With your child halfway through his sophomore year, this is an excellent time to sit down together and talk about his grades.


Make an appointment with a college counselor

500彩票appMake an appointment with a college counselor

If you haven’t yet, start exploring your child’s college options with the 500彩票 counselor or a private admissions advisor.


, a psychologist explains why a little bit of worry before a test is not a bad thing.)


Check if your child needs reading help

500彩票appCheck if your child needs reading help

Did you know that 70 percent of high 500彩票 students need some form of reading help? Make sure your 10th grader is developing the skills he needs; it’s not too late to impove.


Check out a college fair

500彩票appCheck out a college fair

Soon your child will start making a preliminary list of colleges she’s interested in. Do a search for upcoming college fairs in your area and plan to attend at least one together.


Think about leadership opportunities

500彩票appThink about leadership opportunities

Encourage your teen to pursue a leadership role in a favorite extracurricular activity. Would student government suit him? Could she hold an office in her favorite club? Think creatively and let your child’s passion lead. (Kids can start their own clubs, too, which definitely shows leadership.)


Get familiar with college admissions tests

500彩票appGet familiar with college admissions tests

Read about the two major college admissions tests: the ACT and the SAT. Learn about how these tests differ to understand if one may be a better choice for your teen than the other. (Hint: these tests have changed since most parents took them.)


Start thinking about summer

500彩票appStart thinking about summer

What your teen does this summer can be a game-changer. Consider including enrichment activities and/or learning into your child’s summer plans. Summer jobs, internships, volunteering, leadership opportunities, and helping others (even in your own family) are all pursuits that look good on college applications.


Forget cramming: 3 better ways to teach kids how to remember what they learn

500彩票appForget cramming: 3 better ways to teach kids how to remember what they learn

To really learn something, kids need to move the information from their short-term memory to their long-term memory. Here are three strategies to teach your teen.


AP exams already?

500彩票appAP exams already?

Yes, but only if your child is taking an Advanced Placement (AP) class this year. If so, encourage your child to take the AP exam this spring while the material is top of mind.




Choose the right classes

500彩票appChoose the right classes

As your child chooses her junior year classes, the two keywords are challenge and balance. Encourage your teen to challenge herself by taking an AP or honors class (or two). Help her find balance by considering the demands of these tougher classes and making sure she chooses a course load that she’s excited about and will be able to handle next year.


Getting ready for college math

500彩票appGetting ready for college math

Make sure your child is building the math skills needed for success in college and beyond.


so you and your child know what’s up.


Encourage summer reading and writing

500彩票appEncourage summer reading and writing

College500彩票 admissions pros have three suggestions for encouraging your teen to read and write every day this summer: 1) Have your child sign up for a daily source of in-depth articles and read two articles per day. 2) Encourage your child to read 10 books from this list. 3) Persuade your teen to keep a daily journal and write about what they’re feeling, reading, and doing each day.


3 ways to make summer count

500彩票app3 ways to make summer count

There are many ways for your child to squeeze college-prep activities into summer. Here are just three: 1) Getting a job; 2) Volunteering; 3) Signing up for an enrichment program (e.g. a class at your local community college, a chess competition, a community theater production, a coding challenge).

About our 10th grade college prep timeline

The road to college can be complicated and confusing for students and parents alike. We’ve gathered unbiased and comprehensive input from multiple expert sources and compiled it into four inclusive timelines to help all aspiring college students — and their families — organize their college prep efforts.

Getting into college involves so much more than filling out an application. Our college prep timelines begin in 9th grade and continue, month by month, through the end of 12th grade.

For high 500彩票 sophomores, our interactive 10th grade college prep timeline helps parents and students understand concepts like the important distinction between classes that count toward high 500彩票 graduation but not for college admission, the importance of taking on academic and extracurricular challenges, the best strategies for communicating with teachers and college counselors, and the nuts and bolts of writing strong papers, making effective presentations, and practicing effective study habits.

For juniors and seniors, our timeline goes deeper into the details of helping students and parents navigate the college applications process as well as helping students consider their personal learning and career goals and the different routes they might take to achieve postsecondary success.

There are a lot of important decision points for high 500彩票 sophomores, many of which students, parents, and even counselors can miss. Our interactive timeline offers 10th grade college prep information, tips, and insights to help parents help their high 500彩票 students navigate the road to college without missing a single step.

Want more? Check out our articles about college prep, being the first in the family to go to college, and saving for college.