11th Grade Checklist – Be Prepared for College Admissions

 

As you begin your junior year, you’ll be taking on new academic challenges and making an in-depth exploration of your college options. Use the following checklist to stay organized and to keep track of important deadlines. And, remember, if you have questions or if you need assistance, Ivy Academic Prep is here to help! Just email us at contact@ivyacademicprep.com

Click here to download this checklist as a PDF. 

 

All Year

  • Get organized. Minimize college application stress by creating an organizational system to keep track of paperwork and use calendars and spreadsheets to keep track of important dates.
  • Study. Your junior year grades are especially important in college admissions decisions. Consider working with a private tutor if you need additional help.
  • Create a list of admissions requirements for the schools that interest you and be sure that you are on track to meet those requirements. A spreadsheet is a great way to organize your list. Adjust your schedule, this checklist, and your other “to do” lists to make sure that you will be prepared when you submit your applications your senior year.
  • Go over every item on this checklist at least once every 3 months to make sure that you are planning appropriately and that you aren’t missing any important dates.

 

August-September

  • Meet with your counselor to discuss the year ahead and to be sure that your courses and extracurricular activities are adequately preparing you for college admission. Also, inquire about AP courses, AP exams, and AP exam registration dates.
  • Sign up for new extracurricular activities and seek out leadership experience in the activities that you are already involved in.
  • Mark the appropriate test dates for the PSAT, ACT, and SAT on your calendar and begin researching what these tests are and how to prepare for them. You will need to register up to six weeks in advance for some tests.
  • Study for the Fall PSAT. Work with a private tutor from Ivy Academic Prep if needed.
  • Continue researching potential colleges, careers, and majors that interest you. Go to the admissions website of each school and sign up to receive emails and mailings from them.
  • Plan ahead for college fairs, open houses, and admissions/career events taking place at your school or in your community.

 

October-December

  • Take the PSAT. By taking the PSAT as a junior, you will become qualified for some scholarships and colleges will be able to identify you as a potential applicant.
  • Begin developing a résumé and update it at least once per semester. This list of extracurricular activities, awards, accomplishments, and work experience will be helpful when you fill out your college applications.
  • Study for the spring SAT and/or ACT. Work with a private tutor from Ivy Academic Prep if needed.
  • Begin researching and applying for scholarships.

 

January-February

  • Explore summer opportunities such as internships, camps, volunteer opportunities, summer jobs, and programs on college campuses.
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss and create your senior schedule. You should enroll in the most challenging courses.
  • Register for the spring SAT and/or ACT. Determine whether or not you should also take an SAT subject test.
  • Plan ahead for your AP exams in May. You may want to consult a counselor to make sure that you are on track for taking the appropriate exams. Study as needed.

 

March-May

  • Ask your teachers for recommendation letters early. Be sure to check the admissions requirements of each school that you plan on applying to. While some schools don’t require letters of recommendation at all, others are very particular about who you ask to write letters for you.
  • Demonstrate interest in the schools that you want to apply to. Contact prospective colleges to schedule campus visits, to plan tours of campuses, to sit in on classes, or even to stay overnight in a dorm. Remember, college visits are not just demonstrating interest, these visits are your chance to see the campuses first hand and to interact with students.
  • Take your AP tests.
  • Plan ahead for your application essays. Begin brainstorming ideas and keep an organized collection of notes, ideas, and outlines. It is a good idea to spend a few hours going over your ideas and updating your notes at least once a month.
  • Find a summer job if you want or need one. Many students find that a summer job can be a great way to build experience, to save money for college, and to make new friends. They also look good on your college applications.

 

June-August

  • Write your applications essays. Begin in June by using your notes to create detailed outlines and then begin writing. Set aside a regular time to work on your essays so that you don’t feel rushed or stressed while working on them. You should have at least a first draft of each essay done by the end of August. If needed, get expert help on your essays from Ivy Academic Prep.
  • Prepare for your senior courses. During your senior year, you will be busy filling out college applications, taking a difficult course load, visiting schools, and more. Reduce the stress of your senior year by doing some of the course work and readings in advance. Ask your teachers and counselors about summer reading requirements/suggestions for honors and AP courses. Some teachers will also tell you which books and assignments they will be giving in advance so that you can get started early.
  • Plan ahead for standardized tests. Determine whether or not you will need to retake the SAT or the ACT. You may also want to take more AP exams. Now is the time to begin studying, to note important test dates, and to make sure that you are meeting all of the requirements for the schools that you want to apply to. Remember, some of your college applications may be due as early as November so schedule your tests accordingly.

 

Note: This checklist is just a resource to help you get started. You should always be checking in with your guidance counselor and scrutinizing the admissions requirements of the schools that you want to attend to make sure that you are on track. And, remember, if you have questions or if you need assistance, Ivy Academic Prep is here to help! Just email us at contact@ivyacademicprep.com

 

Was this checklist useful? Click here to download this checklist as a PDF.