Junior Year: Tips & Tricks


Luka Alves, Journalist

Thinking about going into your Junior year of high school can be nerve wracking. Once you’ve entered Junior year, you’re halfway through high school, and only a year away from college applications, not to mention the many standardized tests available to a Junior. Here are a few tips which could make entering your Junior year of high school easier and less frightening.


First, if you haven’t already, take the PSAT test. This will help you to prepare for the SAT, as it will let you know what you should study most. To do well on the PSAT, practice by answering PSAT questions on a website like Khan Academy, get a good sleep the night before, and be sure to eat breakfast in the morning. Stay calm while taking the test, and have a positive attitude. Waiting until your second semester to take the PSAT could help, as you may have covered more PSAT topics in class by then, but, conversely, taking it earlier could let you know what you need to study sooner.


To prep for the SAT itself, read up on the test all you can. Buying a book on SAT prep could help. Take practice SAT questions online, and study anything that you think you need to (use your PSAT results to find out what you need to study). As with the PSAT, get a good sleep before the test, eat breakfast in the morning, and have a calm and positive attitude while taking the test.


Outside of tests, be sure to try hard academically. Junior year is often the most important year for colleges – it’s the year that they weigh most heavily. You’ll want to try your best to do well in your classes during Junior year. If you got mostly good grades in your Freshman and Sophomore years, try to maintain them in Junior year. Or, if you received poor grades in your first two years of high school, work harder in Junior year – an upward trend is likely to impress colleges by showing them that you have the ability to improve. But remember, don’t overwhelm yourself – this will only lead to stress and prevent you from doing your best. Also, consider joining an extracurricular, or, if you are already part of one, try to get a leadership position in it – this is something which could be added to a college resumé.


Finally, begin to research colleges. Because you may be applying to colleges relatively soon, you’ll want to do some research. Compile a list of colleges that you might be interested in attending. Find out what their requirements are. If you find one which you think you might apply to, think about scheduling a campus tour so as to see what sort of environment it is. You don’t have to finalize your choices just yet – but get an idea of what you might like to do.


Following these tips will make your Junior year a less stressful and more successful experience. Good luck going into your Junior year of high school!