Senior Year Checklist

Senior Year Checklist

Junior year is a busy time for high school students. This year is when future graduates begin to traverse the pathway to college. 

While most academics have a good outline of this pathway, many young students are unaware of what the best steps to take are.

Today, we will be discussing a student’s pathway into this new year.


Students are going to want to meet with a school counselor and research college requirements. If a student does not already know what institute they are looking to study at, reviewing these minimums may be a great way to gauge options.

After looking into a school of choice to see their academic requirements, students will now want to obtain said GPA & test score.

Planning an ACT or SAT date at the beginning of the year is a good strategy. Taking the test between now and the middle of April allows lots of time to study. Students who take their exams during this period won’t have to split their study time with finals, AP exams, or any summer vacation plans.

Furthermore, taking the test at the beginning of the year allows students grace for a potential retake. While nobody wants to take their ACT or SAT multiple times, chances are good that the score will be raised if a student is not satisfied with their first result.

Spring And Summer

If you are in any AP classes, know that AP exams are offered in May. AP exams are difficult, but there is no penalty for giving them a try. At worst, you get some practice in for the future, and at best you get to skip an entire college class (and save the money it costs).

Another thing to do toward the end of the school year is obtain letters of recommendation. These letters can be obtained at any time, but May-June gives your teacher time to get to know you first.

If a student is on the fence between a few schooling options, college visits are a great way to tip the scales. These campus tours are a fun way to enjoy the nice weather while potentially helping you make your decision.

The last piece to obtain over the summer is a Common App Essay (also known as a personal statement). This will be a crucial piece for your final college application package.

Fall (Senior Year)

At this point, students who have not already chosen a school of choice will want to finalize this decision. Choosing 2-3 backup schools is also a good idea.

Once chosen, students will want to take September to apply to these schools and write the best essays they can muster. Know that while some information is optional, it is generally better to give as much information as possible. Colleges are highly competitive institutions, and any criteria can potentially edge a student into eligibility.

Students will also need to request that standardized test scores be sent to all the schools on your list so that they will have your academics.

After applying to schools and sending in test scores, students can now sit back and wait as their applications sit through reviews. The best way to maintain good chances is to try and keep your GPA up throughout the senior year.

Concluding Thoughts

While this might seem like an overwhelming amount of information, the good news is that you still have time. There are a lot of steps here, but spreading the load out throughout the year means that it feels like a lot less work.

For more information or help with test preparation, check out our website here. Our instructors offer best-in-class tutoring sessions to help raise student’s test scores and prepare them for their college journey.

If you prefer a more self-guided approach, check out the Ultimate Roadmap to College. Our new book was created to walk you through these steps with more details.
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