Setting Your High School Goals
Sophomore Year

  • Register for the PSAT and/or PLAN and the Ventures Scholars Program. Complete return application card to become a Ventures Scholar.

  • Continue developing:
    • Academic and co-curricular record and include rigorous courses.
    • Career exploration and college/university exploration plans.
    • Extra-curricular activities.
    • Study skills.
    • Summer experiences that include reading, a job, internship experience, or a pre-college enrichment program. View the Ventures Scholars Program website for information about pre-college enrichment programs at Ventures Scholars Program member institutions.
    • Plans to meet with your guidance counselor to understand academic expectations of high school and the courses needed for acceptance into a Ventures Scholars Program member college/university.
    • a plan to pay for post-secondary education and the costs associated with post-secondary education.
    • Communication with parents/guardians when making decisions about coursework, extra-curricular activities, and the college/university exploration process.
  • Register for the SAT II: Subject Tests and ask your guidance counselor about AP (Advanced Placement) courses.

  • Research financial aid and scholarship opportunities. View the Ventures Scholars Program website for information about scholarship opportunities at Ventures Scholars Program member institutions.
  • Review goals for the junior year.
  • Find out about extra-curricular activities at your school or in your community. These activities will help you determine your interests and strengths and can be used to help with career exploration.

  • Plan to register for the PSAT or PLAN and take practice PSAT  or PLAN examinations. Contact your guidance counselor to obtain information. Though the PSAT or PLAN will not be used for admissions purposes, it is a good indicator of how well you will do on the SAT or ACT. Take practice exams to improve test-taking strategies. Check on-line or ask your guidance counselor.

  • The best preparation for any standardized test is to take challenging courses in high school. You should also strengthen your reading comprehension and vocabulary by reading every day! Review your course list and compare it to your academic and co-curricular record to make sure you are taking the courses that will prepare you for college/university.

  • Write the names of your courses on the academic and co-curricular record.

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to review the courses you are taking during your sophomore year.

  • Continue studying for the PSAT examination or PLAN examination. If you have not already registered, do so. To become a Ventures Scholar, you will need to meet the following criteria:

    • Sophomores need to score a minimum 47 verbal and 47 math of the PSAT examination or score a minimum 16 on each section of the PLAN examination.
    • Juniors need to score a minimum of 50 on the verbal and math sections of the PSAT examination.
    • Students need to maintain a 3.0 grade point average or better.
    • Students need to identify themselves as members of an underrepresented minority group (African American/Black, American Indian/Native American, and Hispanic/Latino/a or identify themselves as first generation, college-going students.
    • Students need to express an interest in a math- or science-based career.
  • If you have met all of the criteria to join the Ventures Scholars Program, you will receive an application card in March.
  • Continue participating in extra-curricular activities that are of interest to you. Extra-curricular activities can help with career exploration and help you develop skills needed for success in the workplace. Record activities and skills developed on academic and co-curricular record.

  • Begin exploring pre-college summer enrichment programs at member institutions. Some of the Ventures Scholars Program member institutions will invite rising juniors to participate in their pre-college summer enrichment programs.

  • Meet with parents/guardians to discuss how you are doing in school and begin talking about an action plan to finance your college/university experience.

  • Review study skills.

  • If you are struggling with a course, get a tutor. Many schools have tutoring programs where juniors and seniors can help you for free. Speak with counselors or teachers for assistance.

  • Receive results of the PSAT examination or the PLAN examination. Read materials sent with the score report. If there are certain types of questions that you are continually getting wrong, look at the reasoning behind why you keep getting that answer. Only knowing the right answer will not help you get it right the second time around. Consult with your guidance counselor about ways to improve your score on future standardized tests and courses.

  • Sit down with your parents/guardians to review monthly goals.

  • Are you beginning to develop a career plan? A sample career plan might include: a) a career goal, b) short-term, specific goals to make your dream a reality, c) current skills, interests, and experiences, and d) long-range, general abilities and requirements.

  • Continue researching pre-college enrichment programs at member institutions. Contact the admissions representative to obtain additional information.

  • Continue assessing career interests.

  • Look at the scholarship opportunities offered by Ventures Scholars Program member institutions.

  • Have you participated in any career interest inventories or skills/abilities inventories? Do you know what type of career you are interested in and the college/university that has programs targeted to your career interests? Continue working on your career plan.

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to determine the Continue the college/university search. What do you want out of your college experience? Can you see yourself in an urban, suburban, or rural environment? Do you want to be near home or do you prefer to be far away from home? Do you want a small college/university or do you prefer a large campus? What type of extra-curricular activities do you want to participate in? What is the ideal campus environment like (housing, social activities, clubs, athletics, and facilities)?

  • Register for SAT II: Subject Tests. These one hour exams include subject areas such as: biology, chemistry, foreign languages and physics. Many colleges require three SAT II: Subject Tests. One of tests should be writing. Some colleges may require Math IC or Math IIC. Speak with your guidance counselor for additional advice and dates of SAT II examinations.

  • Continue to explore career options, college majors, and colleges/universities you might be interested in attending.

  • Meet with your guidance counselor to determine the courses you will take during the junior year.

  • If you are eligible, take Advanced Placement examinations.

  • Explore summer internships or paid work experience. Remember you will need a social security number and working papers.

  • Plan to take or retake the PSAT. Speak with your guidance counselor about the upcoming October PSAT examination.

  • Review academic and co-curricular record and, when you have the final grades, complete the form.

  • Take SAT II: Subject Tests. Review test scores to see if you'd like colleges to receive this information. You will have additional opportunities to take the SAT II: Subject Tests in the spring of your junior year or the fall of your senior year. Remember, you want the best scores released to the colleges/universities.

  • Prepare to ask your teachers to recommend summer reading. This is an excellent way to develop your vocabulary. You can visit the library, bookstore, or go online to get the names of books that are of interest to you. You can also read newspapers or magazines.

  • Continue summer reading.

  • Continue career and college exploration.

  • Prepare for the junior year. With your parents/guardians, read over the list of goals to accomplish during your junior year. Goals include academics, career exploration, college/university exploration, standardized test preparation, study skills, extracurricular activities.


© 2006 Ventures In Education, Inc.