At this point in the year you should be in regular contact with your school counselor and you may have been asked to complete a questionnaire or brag sheet for him or her. Be thoughtful and thorough, since this information will help your counselor advise you properly and write a recommendation for your school report. You should also start talking to the teachers from whom you’d like recommendations, and they may request information from you as well. It’s a good idea to make your requests through the Common Application unless your school has a different procedure; check with your counselor and be sure to follow any established policies. Either way, start the conversation now so you can get commitments from your recommenders before school ends.
Do take advantage of upcoming college fairs to continue your exploration. If you have schools in mind but haven’t visited yet, see if they’re participating in local events. (Check the Claster Educational Services calendar for some upcoming dates.) You can meet face-to-face with the admissions staff who represent your region, and these contacts demonstrate your level of interest in the school, which many colleges want to see.
If you’re planning to do additional standardized testing before the fall, register for your upcoming exams to secure a seat at your preferred test site. The July ACT and August SAT in particular may have limited space. There’s only one testing center in DC for each of those exams, and in New York City last year August SAT sites were full well before the registration deadline.