Road Map for December: Juniors

PSAT scores came back this week, so if you’ve already taken a practice ACT you can now finalize your testing plan. This is a great step to take to add some certainty and structure to your planning process. If you haven’t taken a practice ACT, do that soon so you can get this piece of your admissions squared away. And if you have high PSAT scores, check out this article on the National Merit Scholarship competition.

When families ask me to recommend test prep, my first step is to find out what kind of prep makes sense for the student. Does the student want to work one-on-one or in a group? Virtually or in-person? What kind of budget makes sense for the family? Once I understand these kinds of criteria I can identify prep options that will meet each student’s individual needs. Keep in mind also that the test-optional movement has expanded tremendously over the last two years. Although I do think students should take these tests (and prep for them), there should be less pressure around testing because SAT and ACT scores are not the defining feature in students’ applications that they’ve been in the past.

As colleges wind down for winter break there are fewer options for in-person visits but you can still do plenty of research online. When you’re looking at a college check out the academics, student life and admissions pages of the schools website, in addition to any other sections that are of particular interest to you (athletics, research, support services, etc.) See what on-demand and live tours and info sessions the admissions office or individual departments might be offering. Spending some time online can help you get a sense of whether school might make sense to visit in-person in the next semester. Then block out time for trips to the schools that interest you the most.

As always, if you’re interested in individual advising with your testing plan, college list, or other topics, I hope you’ll contact me.