4 Questions to Ask Yourself Junior Year

By Ryan Nguyen - Stevens Institute of Technology - NextGenVest Global Ambassador - Bronx, NY

Being a junior in high school is actually just as important as the first two years of high school as well, you want to do your best and try to do more than passing. The idea that Junior year is the only year a student has to worry about in high school has a slight misconception to it.

Why is junior year of high school so important?

Junior year has the most impact because the grades and classes you participate in that year show a portion work ethic you uphold. For example, during my freshman and sophomore years, I had consistent grades ranging in the low to high eighties, in many subjects, which could indicate that I am consistent with the quality of my work. That changed, however, when I entered junior, where I was required to learn pre-Calculus and Physics, both of which I enjoyed and learned how to study efficiently. It was also the year I became anime club president and a French tutor, indicating that I was devoted to my extracurricular activities. At this point, it looked like I took in more activities as I got used to the curriculum, which could show someone who takes opportunities and can gauge his own ability. In short, Junior year is important because it leaves the greatest impression to colleges.

Which standardized test should I take for college, the SATs or ACTs?

This depends on you region, first, and then your personal preference. The ACTs is sort of more recent than the SATs, making it not as widespread or used as the SATs, but still acts as a standardized test. The next idea to consider is which one you would prefer, since both tests gauge different types of skills. The SATs measures your capabilities to process new material, mostly through the readings, and think on your feet with problems you have never done, but can be approached like any other math problem. The ACTs tests your ability to retain knowledge of the previous school years, presenting questions from math, science, reading, English, and writing, the last part is optional.

What is the most important part of my college application?

Overall, the college essay for each school is the most important part of a college application. Every other part of the application is also very important, but it is the essay that provides the admission staff the initial “feeling” of the college’s applicants. With this small essay, the staff deducts a general attitude and personality of the applicant, and they use this to determine whether he or she is a suitable match for the college, along with the other components of the application such as the extracurricular activities.

What do I do if I am missing materials for the college?

At this point, you, the applicant, must constantly follow up with the college to determine whether or not they have your material, regardless of how annoying it may seem. Just because you sent the application to the college does not mean that you have finished your work for the college. The college might, and often will, ask for various materials from you besides your application, such as your final and mid-year transcript for your senior year, along with supplemental questions or interviews from you to get a better feel of who the college is accepting.