College Corner: Juniors: It Is College Application Prep Time

Julia Strasius, News/Design Editor

Freshman and sophomore year may have been a breeze for some. However, junior year is critical in terms of college applications. Now, one must make the time to focus on standardized tests, extracurriculars and future goals. Do not worry, though! These tips can help you manage the stress of junior year.

  1. Standardized Test Prep

Junior year is the main year to focus on standardized testing. You should decide whether to take the ACT or SAT, a choice dependent on personal considerations. If you have not started preparing, do not worry, but start now! Any bit of preparation helps when taking the tests. Taking practice tests beforehand can allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and the areas where you need to improve. 

  1. Focus on Academics and Extracurriculars

In terms of academics, college admission officers look heavily at junior year. Taking challenging classes this year and doing well on them is looked at favorably! Use resources like study groups, tutors and teachers. Extracurriculars also play a major role in college applications. It is important to  achieve leadership roles within your existing extracurriculars. If you do not participate in any clubs yet, you still have time! Palmetto offers a variety of clubs focused on different subject or interest areas. 

  1. Creating College Lists

During your junior year, you should begin to familiarize yourself with different platforms like Common App and Scoir. Taking the time to explore colleges through these websites will only benefit you when choosing where to apply. Although the pandemic has made this exploration hard to do in-person, colleges offer students the ability to partake in 3D virtual campus tours. Here is a list of various platforms that have interactive campus maps, videos or photos:

  1. CampusTours
  2. YouVisit
  3. CampusReel
  4. StriveScan 
  5. National Association for College Admission Counseling

Scoir is a tool that all students should check out. Not only does it give one the ability to look at college acceptance rates and average standardized test scores, but counselors send out scholarship opportunities and college visits through the platform. 

As a junior, you should also start envisioning what you may want to major in or pursue as a career. However, it is totally normal to have no idea what you want to do. Take the time to reach out to your counselors for guidance this year. Although it may get overwhelming at times, we are all experiencing the same feelings.