College going juniors should strive to get all their testing done by the end of the 11th grade. The stress of applications on top of the normal academic pressure is enough to handle without having to worry about one more SAT Subject test or ACT, or a second or third TOEFL for international students. I consider 11th grade as the senior year for college applications, because it is the last full year of courses you have on your transcript before applications go out in the fall of grade 12. A student should focus hard on pulling all grades up before the end of the year. The transcript is the most important aspect of an application. After school, it’s time to take some leadership in the clubs and teams. Involvement in activities is one thing, but showing passion for something and taking responsibility shows a school your ability to take initiative and a belief in you own ability to work with others. When summer comes, if possible, make some visits. Throughout the year check out sites like www.collegeweeklive for virtual college fairs to get in touch with admission officers and learn first hand about a school.

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Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist

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