Your Sophomore Schedule
During your sophomore year, you should be enrolled in English 2, Geometry or beyond, Biology 1 or beyond, World History & Geography or AP Human Geography, Spanish 1 or beyond, a class in your Program of Study, and another elective. If you feel one of the core academic requirements is missing, please visit your counselor immediately.
Tips to Make the Most of Your Sophomore Year
Research has shown that students who have followed these steps are more likely to enter the college application process with more momentum.
1. Get serious about academics.
Be honest about your academic strengths and weaknesses, and reach out to your teachers or tutors for help in subjects where you are struggling.
2. Take challenging coursework.
Register for courses that will challenge you in subjects you are passionate about rather than just trying to take an easy class.
3. Start PSAT preparation.
This is key to becoming a finalist for the prestigious National Merit Scholarships, which not only provide money for college but also guarantee the attention of admission officers.
4. Develop your extracurricular profile.
This is about quality rather than quantity. Choose 2 or 3 you like the most, preferably those where you could see yourself moving forward to leadership positions, and invest real time into them. Those that apply to your future college major/career are advantageous as well.
5. Think ahead to the summer.
What you do over the summer matters. Prepare to take advantage of an academic, volunteer, or professional opportunity. Ideally, this should be a project or program that you can return to in subsequent summers, in increased positions of responsibility.
6. Practice, practice, practice for the ACT.
Figure out now what your weaknesses are and start working to improve them. There are tons of free resources to help you. Consider taking an ACT Prep course at school.
7. Develop relationships with your teachers and counselor.
Your counselor and teachers are the ones who will serve as future references for you. You want them to be able to write the best, most descriptive, most emphatic recommendations they can, and in order to do that, they need to know you well. Secondly, being able to approach professors is one of the most essential, yet hard-to-acquire skills you can have in college. People who actually engage with professors invariably report higher enjoyment and improved performance in college; getting comfortable approaching teachers now will pay big dividends in both the short and long term.
8. Give time to your community.
Community service isn’t just something you do to pad your resume. It can be a hugely fulfilling activity that takes you out of the environment of high school and allows you to focus on helping other people. It’s not just good for your application; it’s good for your mental health.