Following is a month-by-month timeline of tasks you should accomplish by the end of your 10th grade year of high school. Links to resources and helpful documents are attached where appropriate, so please make use of all the tools available to you. If you have any questions about any of the tasks listed below, contact your regional counselor right away.
- It’s time to review your course work from your 9th-grade year and your planned course work for your 10th-grade year to ensure that you remain on track as far as college requirements go. Schedule a meeting with your high school counselor.
- Talk to your counselor about Advanced Placement courses available at your school for your junior year, including eligibility prerequisites, enrollment procedures, and what the demands and expectations are for AP classes. You can earn college credit in high school by successfully completing AP classes and completing the end-of-course exam with a high enough score. Many schools also offer dual enrollment where college classes can be taken right there at your high school, and you can earn both high school and college credit for the same class.
- Join a club! Tryout for a sport! Get involved in everything high school has to offer you!
- Take the PSAT in October. The scores will not count for National Merit Scholar consideration if taken during your sophomore year, but it is valuable practice for when you take your SAT during your junior year. Look for your PSAT results in December. For more information about the PSAT, visit the College Board website.
- PSAT exams are scheduled on only two dates each October. The test is administered through schools, not through test centers, and online registration is not available. If your school is not offering the PSAT, you have the right to contact another school in your community to register to take the test there, if they will permit it (fees may apply).
- It’s never too early to start looking at colleges you might like to attend following your high school graduation. Think about the careers you looked at during your exploration of careers during your freshman year, and what colleges might offer academic programs in those areas. Do you want to attend college at home in Hawai’i, or do you want to head to the mainland? Other criteria you might consider to narrow down your search might include admissions criteria, college life, athletics, housing, etc. Visit Naviance and the National Application Center’s websites to find information on nearly every college or university in the country.
- At this point, you will probably come up with a long list of colleges. Take a look at each of their websites, take a virtual tour of their campus via the Internet if they offer one, and request information from their admissions offices. You’ll get useful information about those schools, and you’ll be on their radar in case you decide to apply there in a few years.
- Did you receive your PSAT scores yet? Take a moment to go over the results. You can visit College Board’s website to see an estimate of what your SAT scores might be, based on the results of your PSAT scores (use the login and password information provided with your results.) What areas can you improve in? Discuss your results with your high school counselor.
- Take a moment on December 19 to remember our princess, Ke Ali’i Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and how much she loved her Hawaiian people. Without Pauahi’s largess, Kamehameha Schools and the Kamehameha Scholars program would not exist. Mahalo, Pauahi!
- Merry Christmas from the entire Kamehameha Scholars staff. Have a blessed and safe Christmas holiday!
- First semester grades are in. How did you do? Remember, your GPA is one area which potential colleges will look closely at. If you’re having trouble in any classes, now is the time to schedule a meeting with your teacher and/or your high school counselor.
- Continue gathering items which show evidence of your achievements in high school, and keep them all in one place so you won’t have to look for them come your senior year when you’re filling out college applications. You might want to download the Summary of Achievements worksheet to make tracking these items easier.
- Continue expanding your vocabulary in anticipation of taking the SAT test your junior year. The best way to do that is to read, read, read! But you can also visit the College Board website to take their SAT Question of the Day to learn vocabulary words. Or check your local or online book store like Amazon or Barnes & Noble for SAT vocabulary flashcards and books and practice, practice, practice!
- By now you should have received lots and lots of brochures from all those colleges you requested information from back in November. At this point, it might be helpful to do a side-by-side comparison of each school to see how they compare against one another. Download the College Comparison worksheet to help you organize your information.
- Pre-registration for your junior year is coming up soon. Before selecting your classes, take some time to talk to your parents and counselor about which courses are right for you, and will help you succeed in college. Are you eligible to take AP courses? If so, do it!
- Are you at risk of failing any classes this year? Will you be required to attend summer school to make up any failed credits in your core classes? Start thinking now about making plans to recover those credits, and talk to your counselor about what your options are.
- What are your plans for this summer? Why not use this time to do something you can include on your college resume? This might include paid work, volunteer work, academic or cultural enrichment programs, summer workshops, or camps that focus on music, arts, and science or other areas of career interest. Check Kamehameha Scholars’ Resource tab on our website to find out about opportunities on your island.
- Visit a College Fair held each April on your island. This is an excellent opportunity to “shop” around for a college that suits your individual needs, and to meet and talk with representatives from that school. Take this list of Questions to Ask Colleges with you when you visit the college fair.
Congratulations! You made it through your sophomore year of high school!
- Enjoy your summer! If you are engaged in any activities this summer that will help support your college resume, remember to ask your supervisor or instructor for a letter of recommendation NOW. It’ll be so much easier to do that than trying to track them down in a few years.
- Don’t forget to add any end-of-year report cards, awards, honors, and activities to your permanent file.
- If you’re traveling on the mainland this summer, take some time to visit a few college campuses that you might be interested in attending. It’s best to do that when classes are in session so you can get a real feel for college life, so call the Admissions Office ahead of time if at all possible. If you’re staying home this summer, visit one of our local college campuses instead! Don’t forget to take along your list of Questions to ask college admissions offices with you!