High-School Preparation for College: Calendar

— National Association for College Admission Counseling
Updated on Apr 22, 2011

Freshman Year

It is never too early to plan for the future!

  • Build strong academic, language, mathematics and critical thinking skills by taking challenging courses.
  • Study hard and get excellent grades.
  • Strengthen your vocabulary by increasing your reading.
  • Become involved in co-curricular activities.
  • Meet your high school guidance counselor and discuss your plans for the next four years.
  • Browse through college literature or surf the Web to get an idea of what kinds of schools may be of interest to you.
  • Check out what high school courses colleges require.
  • Know NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) requirements if you want to play sports in college.
  • Keep an academic portfolio and co-curricular record.
  • Research career possibilities.
  • Begin saving money for college.

Sophomore Year Calendar


Concentrate on academic preparation and continue to develop basic skills and co-curricular interests.


  • Consult your guidance counselor about taking the PSAT in October. The PSAT is a preliminary test that will prepare you for the SAT Reasoning Test.
  • If you plan on taking the ACT, talk to your guidance counselor about taking the PLAN this fall. The PLAN is a preliminary standardized test that will give you some preparation for the ACT. PLAN does not have national testing dates, so ask your guidance counselor about test dates offered by your school.
  • You need to register several weeks in advance for the PLAN and the PSAT, so consult your guidance counselor early in September. 
  • Take NCAA-approved courses if you want to play sports in college.


  • Take the PSAT for practice. The results will not be used for college admission.
  • Sign up, if you have not done so already, for co-curricular activities that interest you. The level of involvement and accomplishment is most important, not the number of activities.
  • Keep a record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work, and employment (all year).


  • Make sure you are "on top" of your academic work. If necessary, meet with your teacher for additional help.
  • Save your best work in academic courses and the arts for your academic portfolio (all year).  


  • Receive results of PLAN and/or the PSAT. Read materials sent with your score report. Consult your guidance counselor to explore ways to improve on future standardized tests and courses to discuss which may be required or beneficial for your post-high school plans.  


  • Keep studying!
  • Volunteer-a great way to identify your interests and to develop skills.


  • It is never too early to start researching colleges and universities. Visit your guidance office to browse through literature and guidebooks or surf the Web and check out college and university home pages.  


  • NACAC has developed a list of on-line resources to help you in the college admission process called Web Resources for the College-Bound.
View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.
See all Worksheet Generators