Sophomore Parents: Getting Your Teen College-Ready
If you’re a parent of a high school sophomore, you may be thinking you have plenty of time before the college process gets into full gear. However, sophomore year is not too early to start thinking about college. There are several ways you can put your sophomore on the path to success and get them ready for the college admissions process.
Consider challenging courses. One of the most impactful ways sophomores can jump start college readiness is by taking challenging courses in academic areas of interest. Learning about your student’s strengths and career goals will help you point them in the right direction in terms of sophomore or junior year course selection. For example, a student interested in potentially entering the STEM field in college should consider taking an honors or AP math or science class during their sophomore or junior year. Colleges will look closely at the academic rigor reflected on your student’s transcript, so a focus on course selection as early as sophomore year can be very beneficial. Your teen’s high school guidance counselor is their most valuable resource.
Join extracurricular activities. It’s common for sophomores to still be in the process of exploring their interests and participating in many different extracurricular activities. However, it’s important to remember that colleges prefer students who are involved in a couple of meaningful activities, rather than dabbling in many. Before or during sophomore year, help your student evaluate which activities he or she truly enjoys and will commit to during high school.
Explore interest and careers. Volunteer opportunities, part-time jobs, internships and summer programs at a local college are all great ways to explore academic and career interests while gaining valuable pre-collegiate experience.
Visit a college campus. Take advantage of opportunities to visit a college with your sophomore when vacationing or even traveling with a sports team. If you are taking your senior on a college visit, have your sophomore tag along. These experiences are an excellent first introduction to what college is all about.
Try a PSAT or PACT. If your high school allows sophomores to take a PSAT/PACT, take advantage of this option! It’s a smart way to get a baseline score and will help you determine which might be the better test to focus on.
Test Preps, Inc., offers SAT and ACT preparation courses and private tutoring for students in Western New York.