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10th Grade Planning

College Planning Calendar for Students


For this year, you’ll want to stay on track with your high school classes and activities and begin to narrow down the plan for your future.


Take a practice PSAT.
Taking the PSAT as a sophomore will help prepare you for the real thing next year. It also allows you to release your name to colleges so you can start receiving brochures from them.

Stay on track with your courses.
Work with your guidance counselor to make sure you’re enrolled in the courses you need to prepare you for college or a career. Move on to the next level of classes in the core subjects (English, math, science, history, and a foreign language).

Begin learning about the college admissions process.
Get familiar with general college entrance requirements. The guidance counselor’s office, the library, college Web sites, and the College and Career Center  are all good sources of information.

Continue exploring potential careers.
Explore your career options in more detail—research possible careers to learn about the tasks, education, and training necessary for each occupation.  Use Naviance to help you find areas of interest.



Take on new roles.
Stay involved with your extracurricular activities and work toward leadership positions in the activities you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.

Read, read, read.
Developing your reading skills will help prepare you for tests and make you a well-rounded individual. Read as many books as you can and read the newspaper to learn about current affairs.

Practice your writing.
You’ll need good writing skills no matter what path you pursue, so work on those skills now to get prepared. Find a teacher or another adult who can advise and encourage you to write well.

Get advice from your counselor.
Meet with your guidance counselor to make sure you’re staying on track.



Keep your grades up.
There’s probably a lot competing for your attention, but it’s important to remain focused on doing well in your classes. Remember that your grades affect your GPA

Start your college search.
Use our College Searching section on this website to decide what factors are important to you. Attend college fairs and read the material you get from all types of schools—you may see something you like.

Consider taking SAT Subject Tests.
It’s often best to take these types of tests while the material is still fresh in your mind. In May or June, you may want to take SAT Subject Tests in the courses you took this year.

Get a summer job.
Finding steady summer work will look good to prospective colleges and employers. Putting the money you earn away for college will also help you get a head start on a personal savings plan.

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College Planning Calendar For Parents

Tenth grade is a banner year for most kids. For the most part, the classes your child takes this year will determine the courses your child will be qualified to take in grades 11 and 12.

In terms of preparing for college, it's an important time, since AP and honors classes require prerequisites that your child will need to be fulfilling this year and next. You and your child should have an open discussion and strategically map out classes together.


Encourage preliminary testing
Make sure your child gets in touch with the school guidance counselor about taking the PSAT/NMSQT in October.

Get a head start
It's also time to start checking out college fairs and possibly meeting with school representatives that come to town. Encourage your child to start investigating schools by attending one fair and a session or two with representatives that visit the College and Career Center at school. But don't push it - this might be way too early!


Keep talking
Just as you've been doing all along, make sure that your child's classes seem to be an appropriate fit. If grades are slipping, perhaps the course levels are too high or study habits are poor.

Stay active
Take a look at extracurricular activities as well, not just from the standpoint of whether or not they're going well, but if they are having a negative impact on your child's studies and need to be cut back.

Take the CAHSEE in March
Your child will have a chance to take the California high School Exit Exam for the first time this year; emphasize to your student that this is an important test for high school graduation. Encourage a good night’s sleep and healthy eating before the test date.


Check the schedule
If your child needs to, he or she should register for June SAT Subject Tests now.

Plan for the coming school year
Testing aside, gently oversee registration for next fall's classes and activities. Urge your child to select (or continue) the most challenging classes possible and to participate in at least one community service activity. Finalize any summer plans, and, just as you did last year, devise a summer reading list together that will help the transition into junior year.

Make the break a productive one
Your child should have a job or be participating in constructive activities throughout the summer. Summer study, jobs, and volunteer work always rate high with admission officials. If your child has a career goal in mind, see if you can help arrange a day where he or she can "shadow" someone who works in that field.

Do some early research
The Web provides good college entrance information, as well as online applications to many institutions. Summer is a great time for you and your child to check start getting some initial information about colleges and the various types of colleges out there. Visit our College Searching section to get started.

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