Take the PSAT/NMSQT®
- At school, sign up early to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. Get PSAT/NMSQT tips and a free practice test. When taking the PSAT/NMSQT, sign up for Student Search Service® to hear from colleges and scholarship programs.
Start Your College Search
- Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, preferences and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college.
- Jump-start your college planning by reading about majors and careers.
- Use College Search to find colleges with the right characteristics.
Begin Thinking about Financial Aid
- Talk to your counselor about your college plans. Attend college night and financial aid night at your school. Use financial aid calculators to estimate your aid eligibility and college costs.
Get Ready for the SAT
- Use the access code on your PSAT/NMSQT score report to sign in to My College QuickStart™. With this personalized planning kit, you can prepare for the SAT using a study plan based on your PSAT/NMSQT results and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors and careers.
- Prepare for the SAT by taking a free full-length official practice test. Then get a score and skills report. Learn which skills you need to improve. Be sure to sign up for The Official SAT Question of the Day™ for daily practice.
Schedule Your Spring Testing
- You can take either the SAT® or up to three SAT Subject Tests™ on one test day. Plan your testing schedule carefully if you want to take both, and register for two separate test dates. See the SAT schedule of test dates and register online for the SAT.
- Start visiting local colleges: large, small, public and private. Get a feel for what works for you. Develop an initial list of 15-20 colleges that interest you. You can narrow it down later. Search for colleges and use My College List.
Prepare for AP® Exams
- Do well on AP Exams and receive credit, advanced placement or both at most colleges for qualifying scores. Prepare for AP Exams.
Plan Ahead for the Summer & Senior Year
- Review your senior year class schedule with your counselor. Challenge yourself with honors and AP classes. Read about how to select your courses.
- Plan summer activities early. Enrich yourself by volunteering, getting an interesting job or internship, or signing up for special summer learning programs.
Keep Up Your Momentum
- Visit colleges. Take campus tours and, at colleges you’re serious about, schedule interviews with admission officers. Be sure to bring your campus visit checklist.
- Request applications from the colleges you’re planning to apply to. Check important dates; some colleges have early dates or rolling admission. Consult the College Application Calendar and the Financial Aid Calendar for a basic idea of the applications timeline.
Getting Ready for Senior Year!
The Summer Before Senior Year
- Visit colleges that interest you. Get the campus tour schedule. Arrange an on-campus interview with an admission representative.
- Create a resume — a list of your accomplishments, activities and work experiences. Your resume can help you complete your applications and essays.
- Keep a college calendar of all admission deadlines.
- If you plan on competing in Division I or Division II college sports and want to be eligible to be recruited by colleges, register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.
- If you took AP® Exams in May, look for your AP score reports in July.
- Register early for fall test dates for the SAT® and SAT Subject Tests™.