Plan don’t panic

Juniors should prepare for college now

Two PSAT practice guides. The PSAT can help prepare juniors and everyone for the SATS so they can focus their studies on their weak testing areas.

Gigi Allen

Two PSAT practice guides. The PSAT can help prepare juniors and everyone for the SATS so they can focus their studies on their weak testing areas.

by Gigi Allen, Staff Writer

The junior year of high school should not be overlooked  or spent just barely scraping by. So many of the emails we have are still immature or not as professional as colleges would prefer them to be, and they aren’t impressed. They look at students and think they haven’t been preparing at all. Students should be preparing for college though, right now, this year. Preparing to take their PSAT. Preparing to take their SAT. Preparing to get ahead of the rest and get to the place they want to be.

The reason why juniors should start getting an edge is that colleges have requirements on the scores and grade averages that students need for their class ranking. If in the first quartile, for example, Texas State University requires a 920, while UT requests 1505. If you didn’t know that for one college you need one score, and the other a completely different, you might not be able to be accepted into your college of choice.

A good resource for juniors to use is websites such as Apply Texas and Naviance. These sites can help with college essays. College essays can be very persuasive to admissions if one’s scores weren’t up to par. Getting a teacher, mentor and editor can be critical for making an essay the best it can be. Important information for writing college essays can be found on the sites named above.

SATS are also rumored to start becoming more difficult after May. Signing up for the one in December will allow juniors to have a better chance of making a better score. If the college has a requirement for a certain score, the more times a junior takes the SAT, the more chances they have to actually get the score they need. Take the PSAT and judge which subject is a struggle area. Then juniors should prepare better by focusing their studies on that particular learning target.

Some might say that juniors shouldn’t be focusing on college and save that for their senior year, but they would be wrong. If juniors wait too long, deadlines will come and go for scholarships that could help them. They will have to rush the process of writing their essay instead of taking their time. Their grades will not have been planned in context with what SAT score they need and GPA to get into their college of choice.

College is a scary thought. It is the ultimate last stand for students, and where futures are made. It’s stressful thinking of all the things one needs to prepare to get into the place they want to be for four years of their lives, but it shouldn’t be stressful. The only thing that students should remember for their junior year is to plan, don’t panic.