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Three Steps Every Junior Needs to Take this Summer


1. Take your final test! Yes, you heard that right. Do not let ACT or SAT prep linger into the fall of your senior year. Why? Because senior year you are going to be focused on getting the best grades of your life and finalizing applications. In my practice, I advise all of my clients to plan to get test prepping over with junior year. Fall of your senior year is not the time to be distracted by prepping for your last SAT. Both the ACT and the SAT offer a summer testing, July and August respectively. And if you are in need of formal test prepping training, summer is an excellent time to work with a professional tutor to bring up that score. (Read my recent blog post on how to choose an SAT tutor.)


2. Write your college admissions essays over the summer! No school and brighter days ahead equal extra time on your hands to sharpen your Shakespearean quill and get going on those essays. As the majority of colleges now accept the Common Application, at the very least you can complete your common application essay this summer. Click here to see the list of questions. Also, many schools, especially highly competitive ones, will ask for additional essay questions. It is unlikely that those questions will change year to year, so jump on their website (or see the supplement section of the Common Application) right now and find out what they asked last year‘s applicants. One of my clients applying to Stanford had to write some six additional essays. Another client applying to Duke, had four additional essays. Most colleges ask at least one additional question. Need help navigating the maze of college essays and honing the best written text of your life? We have space on our calendar this summer for you. Click here to learn more about our college admissions essay writing support.


3. Finalize your list of schools and, if possible, start the applications. Why do I say “if possible”? Some schools do not release their 2024 application until August or September. Additionally, the Common Application does not get released until August 1. So you will NOT have all summer to work on our applications, but you can certainly hit the ground running on August 1. Use June and July to write your essays. August, start those applications! In my practice, I advise all of my students to apply Early Action because it gives you the best advantage to get into your first choice schools. However, in order to meet those late October/early November deadlines, you must start now!


So Juniors, here’s how best to use the next few months:


Start prepping for your final ACT or SAT NOW. Plan to take your last exam in July or August.


Start writing your college essays in June and try to be completed by September.


Start filling out your applications August 1. This process may linger into September, but make sure it goes no further beyond the end of October.


If you follow my steps for your summer agenda, you will waltz into the fall of your senior year with ease and confidence.


Want to talk to Dr. Donna about your child and learn more about our services? Click here to book your complimentary Parent Discovery Call.


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Dr. Donna Risolo is the owner and principal tutor of College Prep Tutors, a boutique College Admissions firm.  Dr. Donna has helped hundreds of teenagers get into their first choice college and many with substantial scholarship awards regardless of parent income. She earned her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC. When not engaged in her passion project of helping teens realize their full potential, Dr. Donna also works as an educational consultant, guiding public and independent schools in best educational practices, admissions and fundraising, strategic planning and school transformation, parent and stakeholder engagement, and organizational culture building.  





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