The junior year of high school is actually one of the most important to show your strengths. For starters, it is your last chance to maximize your GPA and your class rank- two criteria used by college and scholarship review committees.   You are evaluated across many criteria; however, the GPA is perhaps the most heavily weighted part of a student’s portfolio  That said, a high GPA is relatively meaningless if you aren’t taking the most challenging courses available to you at your high school.  Your program of study during the junior year should show you are capable and interested in taking demanding courses. It’s also important that these courses get your ready to be successful on the SAT subject tests you’ll be taking at the end of your junior year.  These tests are required at competitive schools.  If you are intending to major in a STEM field, you most certainly are expected to take the Math IIC subject test and a science (Chemistry, Physics or Biology).   Perhaps you’ve already completed high school biology and chemistry and are now thinking it’s natural to take high school physics. It’s probably a stronger position to take AP Biology or AP Chemistry as a junior so that you will have demonstrated success in a demanding  AP science class as well as being very prepared for an SAT subject test in June 2015.

Juniors PUT ON YOUR GAME FACE! : Aim to select as many challenging AP classes as you can handle. This is your last year to maximize your high school GPA which is a very critical component of your overall admissions docket.   Your mail box will soon be flooded with college brochures.   Put them in a box – and set them aside for winter break. At that point, you can review and start thinking about Spring 2015 college visits.   Look for our blog about scheduling college visits!