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September for Sophomores

August 19, 2016

Arizona sophomores - you are no longer the youngest people on your high school campus and have had a few weeks to get settled into that idea.  Now, some will focus on making varsity while others will fight to stay in the game as you now compete with juniors for spots on the JV team. From a college recruiting standpoint, college coaches really could care less (truthfully) - where you end up within your high school program as a sophomore - they care that you are still playing, having fun and getting better every single day.  They are also concerned that you are taking your academics seriously because you still have to be able to get into their college - assuming you are good enough to play there!

 

Here are some important points for sophomores -

1. The calendar never stops - in just two short years you will be a senior and without a plan you will miss so many key steps

2. College Admissions offices can see your grades from this year - make them count - stay focused!

3. College coaches are interested in knowing about you (45% of all NCAA D1 baseball players are first identified in their sophomore year) - get your name out there so at the very least you know what a college looks like.

 

In the past 20 years I have seen over and over again the family who lets their high school experience dictate the way they look at college.  They would say things like, we will see how this year goes then we will start to look at colleges?  WHAT???  Now you allow so many things you cannot control shape the child's future.  What if his coach is a knucklehead - what if there is a player that is actually better playing in front of him - and he does not play.  Does that mean that he cannot play in college?  Of course not! 

 

Give your child the tools he need to succeed in college and in life ... Keep your sophomore talking about it - acknowledging it and embracing it - believe me - it makes the transition to college much smoother!

 

Here are some things to consider as you prepare for September

 

Get Informed about the SAT Subject Tests - Back when I was applying to college, these were known as Achievement tests.  Only about three dozen of the nation’s most selective schools require them, including Ivy League, other private colleges like Williams, Tufts and the University of California.  Tests are offered in sixteen subjects.  Each lasts an hour, up to three can be taken on a particular date, and it is not possible to take the SAT and a Subject test on the same day.

Colleges that require Subject Tests most often require two, through a few upper crust places like Harvard and Princeton ask for three.

 

Requirements aside, a good Subject Test score can be helpful at virtually any college.  Since the Subject tests measure knowledge from school classes, it generally makes sense to take them in June at the end of a school year.  Chemistry is a common choice for tenth graders, through most applicants wait until the spring of their eleventh grade before starting subject tests

 

For complete information go to www.collegeboard.org

Registering for the Tests

  • Head to www.collegeboard.org to register for the PSAT.

    • The PSAT is given in mid October and will give you a chance to practice for your real SAT

    • Most schools give the PSAT to students in 10th and 11th grades.

  • Continue to nurture relationships with your teachers

  • Meet with college representatives

    • Fall is the season when colleges send their admissions officers to high schools all over the country

    • Most high schools host dozens of the officers from early September through mid-November.

    • Go to the guidance office and check out the schedule

      • If you have a free period or see a college that you want to know more about, go check it out and see if you can grab a minute to talk to the college representative.

It’s also time to reach out to college coaches.  For those of you who are aspiring to be a Division I player, almost half of all Division I players are identified in the sophomore year.  Another thing to remember is that most of these athletes will make their college commitment or at least have a very good idea before they even play their senior season.

 

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