- Continue to do
everything listed for ninth grade.
- Take the most rigorous
courses offered. Push yourself; don’t take the easy route. Plan to
graduate on the Distinguished Achievement Program plan. Earn the 25
credits you need to graduate plus complete four advanced measures— take
dual credit classes and earn a 3.0 or higher in the class, earn a 4 or
higher on AP exams, earn National Merit recognition, complete an
original research project under the direction of a high school teacher
and then have it judged by outside professionals. You can combine these
measures to earn the four measures for the DAP diploma. About 10
percent of the senior class usually qualifies for this diploma.
- Begin thinking about
colleges or technical schools you would like to attend. It’s not too
early to begin looking at websites to learn what the admission
requirements are, what kinds of college admissions exams the college
requires, what scores they require on those exams; what the costs are,
what financial aid is available and when you might visit the college.
Almost all colleges have visitation opportunities even if you are not a
senior in high school yet.
- It is imperative that
you register and take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test)
in October of your 10th grade year. You will register at
Longview High School and take the test there during the school day.
Your score on the PSAT will not count this year, but the test will let
you see what you have to do your junior year. Taking this test lets you
see what a college admissions exam will be like, and it’s not easy. It
may be a wake-up opportunity for you if you are not working hard in
school every day and retaining the information and skills you are
- Update your résumé
often—a list of all your school activities, community activities, church
activities, honors, awards, volunteer hours and projects, work
experience, technology skills, advanced courses you have taken. Don’t
leave out a thing. Then when you are ready your senior year to compile
a professional resumè to attach to your scholarship applications, you
won’t need to try to recall all that information. You will have it at
- Visit the College
Board website and register at
www.collegeboard.org. There is a world of free college information
here. You can also register for the SAT Question of the Day to be sent
to your email box. This is great practice for the SAT, and it will only
take you about five minutes per day to answer the question, but it will
be five minutes toward a good score on the test.
- Plan to attend the
Lobo Scholars Academy during the summer after your sophomore year. This
one-week academy is offered every summer during June at Longview High
School and is taught by teachers who have received training specifically
to get your ready for the PSAT your junior year when the score DOES
count. By attending this academy, you will be ready to make a good
score in October of your junior year. Remember the National Merit
Corporation Scholarship Program begins with your Selection Index (SI=your
score on the PSAT). If you want to be named a National Merit Scholar, a
Commended Scholar, or a National Achievement Award winner and earn
scholarship money, then you need to score well on the PSAT. The road to
scholarship money starts in October of your junior year.
- Continue to look for
summer academic or volunteer opportunities. Explore the possibility of
job shadowing. Don’t waste your summer doing nothing.