Intro: Starting on the Road to College

fall semester prep for HS juniors

Take this time at the start of your Junior year to research what you want to do after graduating from high school. You need to answer the question:

"Is college, junior college or trade school right for me?"

To answer this question, research job statistics, employment trends, and collegiate majors using our quick reference sources. Then evaluate your aptitude skills for different career selections.

Some Important Notes for HS Juniors:

We have listed some planning steps that will help you stay on track as you explore your post-high school plans.

You need to plan accordingly so that everything is ready to go in your senior year when it's time to submit your application.

  • First Step:
    keep your grades up. Colleges will look at grades for admission; it is especially important that you increase (or at least maintain) your grade performance during your junior and senior years:
  • Second Step:
    get to know your high school guidance counselor. They are valuable players in the college planning process. Discuss with them your planning and testing dates. You will use them extensively as you research colleges.
  • Third Step:
    practice taking those all important college entrance practice exams. It will help on the day of the real exam. The PSAT (for SAT I, SAT II exams) is usually offered in October and November. ACT prep exams are offered through testing services and online. Check which exam is administered in your area.

    Be prepared to take the college entrance exams in early spring for both the SAT and ACT. That will allow you to send your scores to your colleges of interest. Also, if you need to retake the exam, you can do so in the Fall before college applications are due.
  • Fourth Step:
    consider taking Advanced Placement Exams or the CLEP tests, if applicable. This may save you time and money by testing out of college courses you won't need.
  • Fifth Step:
  • meet with college representatives that visit your school. Get a feel of the kind of college you would like to attend.

    Also consider attending local college fairs and visiting local college campuses. This will expose you to college life and style.
  • Sixth Step:
    keep a record of what you find in your research. This will help compare programs when you need to make a decision:
  • Use our FREE download tool for tracking:

    click here
     

Meet With Your Guidance Counselor

fall semester prep for HS juniors

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Meet with your guidance counselor (or school administrator or teacher) as soon as you can to discuss your post-high school plans.

Items to coordinate with your guidance counselor:

  • the availability of and enrollment in Advanced Placement classes
  • the schedules for the college entrance exams (includes SAT I and II, and ACT). Discuss with your counselor on the exam required to get into your college of choice
  • the admission requirements to college including GPA requirements, credits, exam type and scores, etc. Try to fill in any gaps.
  • review your transcripts to make sure you are on track to graduate with the required credits and courses to get into your college(s) of choice
  • understand what career type you should pursue based on your scholastic and aptitude abilities
  • scheduling visits to college campuses and college admission offices after you select your college of choice
  • discuss preparatory classes or seminars on the various exams to help boost your scores
  • review all other information related to your college planning tasks.

Getting Ready for College Exams

fall semester prep for HS juniors

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Discuss with your guidance counselor about the following college exams:

  • Advance Placement Exams:
    you should consider taking Advanced Placement Exams or CLEP tests in your Junior and Senior years. This allows you to test out of some college courses that can save you time and money.

    The exams are administered each year in the Spring with some preparation required prior to the exam. Check with your school for exam administration, enrollment and information.


    Information about the advanced placement program:
    the collegeboard administers the AP exams. This site has all the information you need including test programs and dates:
    visit collegeboard.com for more information

    View our advanced placement prep/study guides:
    includes prep planning books and other reading materials that can help you with these exams: view AP prep
  • College Entrance Exams:
    almost all colleges and some trade programs require a college entrance exam. These exams measure your ability to understand college-level materials. Most colleges require the SAT college exam; some require the ACT Assessment exam. A few college will require both exams. So check with your college which exam will be required.

    You will take these exams in your junior year. So get some practice with the college entrance "preparation" exams. It will help on the day of the real exam.

More About These Exams

Information about the advanced placement program:

The collegeboard administers the AP exams. This site has all the information you need including test programs and dates:
visit collegeboard.com for more information

View our advanced placement prep/study guides:
includes prep planning books and other reading materials that can help you with these exams:

amazon bestsellers: AP exam prep

 

College Entrance Exams:

Almost all colleges and some trade programs require a college entrance exam. These exams measure your ability to understand college-level materials. Most colleges require the SAT college exam; some require the ACT Assessment exam. A few college will require both exams. So check with your college which exam will be required.

You will take these exams in your junior year with a possible retake in your senior year. You must take the exams in the Fall so that your scores can be sent to your schools.

SAT/ACT exam prep and samples

 

Get some practice with the college entrance "preparation" exams

It will help on the day of the real exam.

Why take college prep exams:

  • to help prepare for the real test. You will be familiar with the type of questions being asked
  • to help you take tests under time lines. It is important that you work quickly so that you can complete the entire test.
  • to view your strengths and weaknesses for college study. You can then focus on areas to improve your skills.
  • to view how your performance compares with other students who are applying for college

 

About the SAT Tests

SAT Reasoning
The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-hour test that measures a student's ability to reason problems instead of general knowledge. It has three sections: writing, critical reading, and math. Most of the questions are multiple-choice.

SAT Subject Tests
The SAT Subject Tests measure the student's knowledge in specific subjects: English, mathematics, history, science, and languages. SAT Subject Tests are primarily multiple-choice, and each lasts one hour.

more information: collegeboard.org


Information about the PSAT (practice exams):

the PSAT is the test prep exam for the SAT tests. The PSAT is usually offered in October and November through your school. Check with your school counselor for dates.

more information: see collegeboard.org for information


About the ACT Tests

The ACT Assessment® is used by some colleges. The exam has four multiple-choice tests: English, reading, mathematics, and science reasoning.

more information: actstudent.org


ACT test preparation:

some colleges use the ACT test. You need to check your college to determine which test they use for admittance. Many students will take both the SAT and ACT so that they have the right exams for the college of their choice

more information: actstudent.org about ACT exams

Research Job Trends

fall semester prep for HS juniors

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Research future career opportunities to help decide what you want out of college. Find out what jobs are going to be hot and what jobs are not. This will help decide whether to go to college, vocational school or jump right into your career.

Research Information n' References

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

occupational outlook by category: provides insight on the training need, work environment, earnings, expected job prospects and more. It's a valuable resource to help decide what career you may like.
bls.gov/oco

projections on what's hot and what's not. Includes employment statistics and the fastest growing careers:
bls.gov/emp

 

Individual State Labor Statistics:

occupational projections by state and region — helps determine where you may need to locate for the best growth
projectionscentral.com

Link to individual State economic, job and occupation trends:

Get To Know Yourself

fall semester prep for HS juniors

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View some career and personal self-assessment tests to determine your aptitude and character for career opportunities. The last thing you want is to start college in a career that you will not like.

By understanding your personality type, it will help determine what career opportunity will bring you the most satisfaction.

Personality Information n' References

Start with defining your personality type:

Take this online quiz to get a non-test based review of your personality type and careers that may be of interest personalitytype.com

another test-based online character assessment:
advisorteam.com

 

About self-assessment tests:

You can view more information about personal assessments and how they can measure your personality traits for jobs and other life-events:

Kinds of self assessment tests:
summary of personality assessment test and which tests work for careers:
humanmetrics.com

about the Myers & Briggs self assessment test:
myersbriggs.org
about the Keisey Temperament assessment:
keirsey.com

 

What to shape a better you?

How to build a well-rounded character:
discusses how planning, discipline and timely execution can build a better you for success:

FREE Download
Complete guide on discipline and character building. Has illustrations on the building blocks of success.

view our "building success" module
Go to: Starting HS Senior

Explore a College Major

fall semester prep for HS juniors

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What would you like to do?

By understanding who you are and what you like, you can now explore career opportunities that will be most satisfying to you:

  • Evaluate Your Career Interests:
    your first step in finding the right career is to evaluate what you would like to do and what career fits your overall aptitude careerkey.org

  • Understand your interests and career relationship:
    online career assessments for a small fee
    Strong Interest Inventory®

Explore What's Required for Your Career

See what will be required in order to achieve your dream:

  • Visit collegeboard.org for in-depth review of collegiate majors.
    Requires log-in: MyRoad.com

    What do you want to be?
    Interest measurement based on varying fields of study: jvis.com
  • Do you have the aptitude skills for your selected major?
    Learn more about this Vocational Aptitude exam that measures several aptitudes in mathematics, general science, reasoning, and other.

    The exam is used by the armed forces in place candidates in select career fields — by taking the exam, however, does not imply that you are enlisting for any armed service:
    asvabprogram.com

Could you become a Wall Street trader?
Test your skills!

 

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Make It Happen!

How?

By building the discipline in four distinct character traits.

1) physical
2) educational
3) social
4) spiritual

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Making the Move!

college textbooks

What do you need when you move to college?

1) bed sheets
2) toothbrush
3) cooling fan
4) medicine box
5) hand vac
6) plus so much more

Grab our college moving checklist to help you pack for the big move

FREE: Moving Checklist

Save on Textbooks

college textbooks

The cost of college textbooks can run as high as $800-$1,000 or more per semester. So shop around for:

1) new textbooks
2) used textbooks
3) rental textbooks

Shop and compare best deals from multiple online merchants.

Go To Bookstore

Job Center

job center

So what kind of jobs are availabe in your study at college?

Let's take a look to see if opportunities in your field are available and what skills sets you need:

Link to Job Center

Achieving Success

achieve success

Achieving success in life requires 3 key ingredients:

1) planning
2) discipline
3) execution

Open our success module for FREE guides on these key success points.

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Helpful Tools

tools

How can we help with college planning?

1) planning forms
2) manage money tips
3) job search
4) financial guides
5) calculators
6) plus so much more

Jump over to our tool for college planning and financial decision making.

FREE Tools n' Downloads


From Our "College" Journal