Preparing for College: Tenth Grade Checklist

School Year

Take highly rigorous classes, including AP/IB/Honors level courses. Be aware of pre-requisites you may need to take this year to qualify for junior and senior year classes.

If you are interested in a science major or career, take the most rigorous courses (including honors, AP, or IB) available in those areas.

Meet with your counselor to discuss your progress and future plans.

Take the PSAT or PLAN (pre-SAT and pre-ACT) in the fall. Check “yes” to the box that allows other organizations to contact you, so you hear from scholarship programs, summer programs, and colleges.

Continue to participate in meaningful extracurricular activities. If the activity you’re interested in doesn’t exist in your high school, start a new club! (If you need to work to help support your family or take care of a family member, colleges understand and will take that into consideration.)

In the spring, consider taking SAT Subject Tests in one or more subjects you took throughout the year. This is a good option if you are highly comfortable with the material from the year.


Prepare for the SAT/ACT. View our Standardized Testing guide here.

Take summer school/community college/online courses. Always challenge yourself academically.

Participate in summer enrichment programs offered by organizations and colleges. Look for programs that offer financial assistance.

Read as much as you can.

If time permits, set extracurricular goals for yourself, such as volunteering a certain number of hours a week, working on creative writing, setting a swimming or running goal, or working a part-time job or internship.