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College Planning


Sophomore Tips and Guidelines

Below are a few guidelines that you should follow:

  • Do your best work. The better you do in school, the more options you create for yourself.
  • Read as many books as possible and work on your writing skills.
  • Begin to investigate occupations and professions. Use the career link on Naviance Family Connection. Explore job shadowing opportunities.
  • Consider the type of higher education you desire: business school, trade school, junior college, four-year college or university.
  • PSAT/NMSQUT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Scholastic Qualifying Test) will be administered in October to those sophomores who pre-registered for the test in June. Further information will be mailed to your home in September.
  • SAT Subject Tests
    Since a number of colleges require these, some sophomores may want to take an SAT Subject Test at the end of the first or second semester. SAT Subject Tests are administered in a variety of academic subjects and are designed to test the level of knowledge of a student in a particular academic discipline. Students enrolled in an Advanced Placement class as a sophomore may want to take the SAT Subject Test for that subject area this year.

With help from your counselor, you should also begin to do the following:

  • Map your course work and long-term goals.
  • Register to take the PSAT at PWHS. The PSAT takes place in October. The PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin will be handed out in I-block. This guide will help students prepare for the PSAT. After you receive the results in December, access the website to get the answers to this year's PSAT/NMSQT test.
  • Identify your interests, values and aptitudes, and begin establishing future goals.
  • Learn about occupations and the world of work, through interviewing and job shadowing. The Occupational Outlook Handbook website is
  • Gain experience related to your possible vocational choice, through employment, volunteerism and coursework.
  • Investigate and explore college options. Keep in mind the importance of courses taken, grades earned and extra-curricular involvement.
  • Visit college campuses.
  • Familiarize yourself with general college admission requirements.
  • Remember the importance of being a well-rounded individual. Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you most enjoy. Become involved in community service and/or other volunteer activities. Visit the Counseling Center to learn about summer opportunities at college campuses or volunteer work.
  • Keep an ongoing record of your co-curricular involvement, volunteer work and employment on Naviance and the Family Connection.
  • Take NCAA approved courses if you want to participate in Division I or II sports in college. Students should understand the guidelines and core requirements for eligibility. The NCAA Clearinghouse has a participation form which must be completed as soon as possible and brought into the College Counseling Office. For additional information, and/or to register for the Clearinghouse, visit and search under Academics & Athletics
  • Attend a college fair sometime this year. Colleges from across the region (sometimes nationally) are represented at these programs. Check the PWHS Counseling Calendar for dates.

For more information about college planning or the college planners for all four years of high school, please visit counseling's College Planning page.


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