February's To Do List for Juniors Working to Get Into their Dream Colleges
February is almost here! It’s a short month, but there is plenty to do. Hopefully, you’ve gotten everything done that was on your list for January. If not, do your best to catch up now. You’ll ultimately achieve more if you work steadily over the next several months than if you try to cram it all in at the end of the year. With all this in mind, here is your monthly to-do list for February...
1. Keep working on getting your best grades ever. When you get your midterm grades, you can check your progress towards the goals you’ve set. If you aren’t on track for the grades you want, do some analysis to determine what you can improve. See our tips for study techniques here.
2. Register for your standardized tests and execute on your test prep plan. Remember that practice is the absolutely best way to prep, so be sure you’ve included plenty of it in your plan. In case you missed it, here’s our most recent post on what tests to take, when to take them, and how to prep.
3. Sign up for your senior year courses. These are the guidelines you should use when making your schedule for your final year of high school: First, make sure you fulfill all your graduation requirements. Second, make sure you have at least five academic solids each term. Third, English and Math are a must. Colleges expect you to have four years of each. Fourth, add as much rigor as you can without compromising your grades. Rigor is college-admissions-speak for the hardest courses – honors, AP, IB, dual enrollment/college courses.
4. Finalize your plans for college visits (whether virtual or in-person), and finalize your plans for meeting college representatives if they are doing events with your high school. We will have a blog post soon about what you should do when you are doing a college information session and questions you should ask when meeting college representatives. Right now, you just need to finalize your plans. One thing about planning your college visits – once they are in-person again, be sure to give yourself at least a half-day (4-5 hours) on campus.
5. Start planning your summer. Yes, it seems far away right now, but it will be here sooner than you think. The summer is a great opportunity to add something to your academic or activities profile. We’ll have a blog post dedicated to how to make the most of summer soon, but you need to start planning NOW because many of the selective summer programs have application deadlines in February.
Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the college admissions bible How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.