Sophomore Year

September

Find out about the PSAT and the PLAN, preliminary preparation tests for the SAT and the ACT. With high scores on these preliminary tests, one may qualify for academic recognition and possible scholarships. Both tests are scheduled from October through December.

October/November

The PSAT and SAT have similar questions; consider this a practice for the SAT. PSAT scores from junior year qualify one for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

December/January

Meet with a guidance counselor to review the results of the PSAT and PLAN tests. Review the material included with the test results.

February/March

Visit the high school's college guidance office to research colleges, view literature, read guidebooks and discover Internet resources.

April/May

Visit the guidance counselor to discuss registering for the June SAT Subject Test. This specialized test is on academic subjects that you have already completed.

Discuss with the guidance counselor enrolling in summer school or taking a summer course at a local college.

June/July

Some colleges require three SAT Subject Tests (formerly SAT II) that are given in early June. Tests should include math and writing. You will be taking these tests again in your junior year and you'll have the option of sending your best scores to colleges. PSATs will be taken in October. Consider a summer PSAT/SAT prep course.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

ACT Class Action Lawsuit: $16 Million Settlement for Students with Disabilities

October 23, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

ACT, Inc., the college admissions testing company, has agreed to pay out $16 million to 65,728 California students with disabilities to settle a class-action lawsuit. The class-action federal lawsuit filed in California in 2018 alleged that ACT, Inc. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act by disclosing test-takers' disability status to colleges and scholarship organizations on score reports, and denied certain examinees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its Educational Opportunity Service. [...]

Test-Optional Colleges Pledge to Judge Applications Holistically

October 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the way it has made it harder than ever to take the SAT and ACT, many colleges and universities, from large state universities to small liberal arts colleges, have announced that their admissions for next year’s Class of 2025 will be test-optional. Test-optional admissions mean that schools won’t require a submission of a standardized test score as part of the admissions process. But how will admissions officials judge applicants without a score? Will a student who doesn’t submit a standardized test score be penalized in any way? And will a student who does submit a score be chosen over one who doesn’t? [...]

Increasing Number of Students from Immigrant Families in Higher Education

October 20, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Getting a college degree is part of the American Dream. College graduates generally earn more money and have a better quality of life. So it’s not surprising that students from immigrant families or who are immigrants themselves are making up an increasingly larger percentage of associate’s, bachelors and masters-seeking students in America. [...]

Last Reviewed: October 2020