How To Create a Junior Year Checklist Without Stress in 2021

Create a Junior Year Checklist

Are you wondering what a high school junior year should be doing right now? Then this post and junior year checklist are for you.

The junior year is an important time that marks the halfway point of your high school journey. You begin preparations for either SAT or ACT. This is the time you need to begin to look at colleges and begin preparations for your application process. While you are at it, you need to ensure that your regular class works do not suffer else, you will be preparing yourself for a tougher senior year.

Meanwhile, we have created a junior year checklist to make things easy for you. Also, we have made it simple to go through and know what to do when and how. There is no one easier way to approach the tasks ahead of junior year and that is the reason we want to help you make this ride as smooth as possible with our checklist.

You could use our checklist to accomplish your planning and preparations while giving some time to your regular class works.

What is a Junior Year?

According to Wikipedia, junior high also known as the 11th grade is usually the third year of a student’s high school period. Students in the 11th grade are by this time advised to begin preparations for college entrance examinations (ACT or SAT) and to begin making choices on the colleges they want to go to.

Why Junior Year is Important

The junior is usually the most important year in high school even though it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. It can be best described as the middle year lost between the excitement and fear of the first year of high school and then the joy and bravery of the senior year of high school.

This stage of your life is important because it is the time you get to make significant decisions that could have major impacts on the next five years of your life and even beyond. It determines your career path and this is the reason you need to begin preparations for high school at this time and be mindful of the decisions you make.

However, we have made a list of five major ways to make your junior high checklist and to help you understand all of these critical activities and decisions you have to make at this point, easy.

Classes and Grades:

This is for your regular classes and the grades you receive in your junior year selection of classes are very important. This is because it is the last full year of grades – the grades the college admission units will review while deciding your fate for the next four/five years.

Your teachers in this junior class will also play a good role and if you’ve been with them on a personal level all the long while, well, this won’t be difficult for you at all.
You will need your teachers to write you a letter of recommendation for college

Standardized Tests:

The junior is the year filled with most standardized tests. You begin with the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) early in the year.

What these tests do are to measure your critical reading, writing skills and your maths problem-solving skills and this is highly important for three reasons:

They serve as a good pointer and excellent preparation for the SAT test you will take by the end of the junior year.
When you have done well, your scores might get you a qualification for a select group of merit scholarships.
It avails you the chance to begin requesting information from colleges early.

If you have been taking advanced placement classes, you will have had the AP placement tests by May. These tests are specially designed to test your knowledge of your chosen subject at the college level. And the results recommend that you received advanced placement or college credit for the subject.
It’s important to know that over 90 per cent of the colleges and universities in the United States recognise these exam grades.

Between May and June, you may have to schedule the SAT or ACT in the late spring or wait till the early beginning of your senior year.

Planning College.

Basically, the junior year is a time to get organised for all that will lead you into your college years. This goes from your mail, from college fairs and visits to your high school.

College planning can be quite tiring and deterring and this is the reason you need to begin on time so you don’t rush things on the process of finding the right colleges for you. This way, you will have a list of up to 10 colleges you can choose from

There are various resources online to help learn more about colleges to make up your list. And while at it, consider looking at their academic qualities, ranking, a recitation, majors and minors, job and graduate school placement tares, costs and financial aids.

If you don’t find all the information you need using those resources, you can consider attending some college fairs and meeting with college reps.

Career Research:

You already have a career path you want to thread by this time and this may have a huge impact on the list of the potential colleges you will consider.

Even so, conduct researches, take some career assessments tests, talk with your family and closer adult friends, meet with your teachers you are close with on personal levels, your guidance counsellors too – all of these people can help in your career. Discuss this oath you are planning on and know what they have to say.

Your Portfolio Development:

When it comes to building your portfolio, it is never too early. You need to begin to document your education, accomplishments and experiences.

You could begin by listing every of your high school accomplishments and experiences including your athletic and academic accomplishments, awards and honours and every other one you could think of.

If you have had work or volunteer experiences, you need to add them too. Highlight any leadership roles and positions you have ever taken. Also, your hobbies and interests can come in this portfolio too.

This could be quite easy if you have it all in your head and are enthusiastic about developing your resume.

Finally, you could tell the kind of person you are. This portfolio usually includes your resume, your awards and some other certificates. And then letters of recommendation and samples of your work – if any.

Why Do Colleges Look At Junior Year?

Normally, colleges care mostly about the grades from your junior year. It is the reason you need to put in your best to make excellent grades. This is mostly because they are your most recent grades and the colleges you apply for use them to access you.

Simply put, your junior year grades gives your potential colleges a great insight into your existing abilities.

Now, let’s move to the main thing.

How to Create a Junior Year Checklist Without Stress.

This junior year checklist should however be completed before high school junior year:

  • You need to meet your guidance counsellor.
  • Get more into your extracurricular activities.
  • Device and make a college savings plan.
  • Work towards enriching your credentials – keep tracks of your awards, experiences and volunteer or community service achievements.
  • Create your resume and continue to edit until you have highlighted every of your experience and accomplishments.
  • Now start preparing for your ACT exam. Talk to the right authorities – your guidance counsellor, to ensure you are enrolled in all the courses required to prepare you for college.
  • Begin your college search!

Fall of Junior Year:

  • Continue to prepare for the SAT/ACT tests and AP exams as the school year begins.
  • Now Take the PSAT
  • Continue to stay on track with your regular classes and grades.
  • The college search begins…
  • Make a list of potential colleges you’d like to attend.
  • While you do that, continue to revisit and re-edit your resume throughout the year while you also get involved in activities to make it richer.
  • Now evaluate your education options: from vocational-technical school, career college, or two-year or four-year college and/or military college.
  • Early in your junior year, begin to research scores and GPAs at colleges that you are interested in.
  • Discuss careers with the right people to know which majors can lead you directly to them.
  • Made your list of potential colleges? Now begin to gather college information. You could do this by attending college fairs and nights and also college representatives that attend your high school.
  • Now, begin to plan campus visits.
  • Keep the dates for your upcoming test and exams in mind. You can do this by marking the dates on a calendar.
  • While at this, continue I’m getting involved in your extracurricular and volunteer activities.
  • Also, continue to build close relationships with your teachers because this will go a long way to help you when you will need letters of recommendation.
  • Read! You can never read too much. No one has ever. This doesn’t have to be just bout your career and field. Read widely. Expand your interests and read widely on them.
  • You can also apply for scholarships as many schools allow opportunities for students in their junior year’s.

Winter of Junior Year:

  • Your curricular activities are important – so stay heavily involved and invested in them.
  • Continue to study for you ACT/SAT. You can never study more than required so why study just a little?
  • Volunteer! Only if you know how wealthy this will make your resume even in the future.
  • Now, organise those college information you have gathered and begin to narrow down your college choices. Keep in mind the merit scholarship requirements for these colleges.
  • While at it, continue to discuss careers and their matching majors.
  • Now, while you still prepare for your standardised tests, research the test requirements for the colleges on your lists and register for them.
  • Know about financial aids? Now is the time to learn about it.
  • Find scholarships with low competitions and apply for them.
  • Begin to plan for a productive summer and not necessarily one to have fun in and relax. Check for internships and keep their deadlines in mind.

Spring of Junior Year:

  • Now you should work towards getting an unofficial copy of your transcript. Your guidance should be able to email it to you. Or, if your school uses Naviance, it may be on it.
  • Remember to examine it for errors and pay close attention to your estimated class rank, GPA, and which courses you might need to complete in your Senior year so as to meet the probable requirements for certain colleges for a particular major.
  • Some schools allow students the opportunities to join their classes after winter breaks.
  • Now work on your schedule for attending this senior year.
  • Begin to consider ways to earn college credits through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, CLEP, or Dual Enrollment courses.
  • Still on your scholarship search? Yes, continue on it.
  • Now is the time to contact your teachers or whoever is writing your letter of recommendation.
  • Check for local scholarships in the guidance office before the school year ends.
  • Now apply for a summer internship or a job.
  • Set up appointments at your top college choices comprising personal interviews, tour of the campus and a meeting with a coach.

Summer of Junior Year:

  • Narrowed your potential college list down half the number it was earlier? Good! Now visit the top 5 on your list.
  • Then run the net price calculator for all the colleges you’re considering. Here’s how to do it – write these in the Google search box – “{college name} + “Net Price Calculator“ to find the NPC. You could have clue how much it will cost you. And also how much it will cost the student in loans for each potential college.
  • Work a summer job just to enrich your resume with your experiences and then save the money for college.
  • Use summer to build yourself up for the competitiveness that landing a college admission comes with.
  • Do you know anyone with college experiences? Talk to them and listen to them talk about their experiences. We will recommend people who already have experiences on the colleges on your list.
  • Now organise your financial aid information.
  • Begin to work on your college application essays now. Meet some of your close teacher friends and have them listen to you read and discuss the essay.
  • While doing all of these, continue to search for scholarships opportunities and apply.
  • Now inform your teachers or anyone else writing your letter of recommendation two weeks before you will be needing it.
  • Create a powerful personal statement for scholarships.
  • Now retake the SAT/ACT tests to improve your score.
  • Conclude your personal statement based on your junior year.
  • Research on FAFSA and write down all their deadlines, admissions applications and scholarships. This should include both merit and state-based scholarships.
  • Keep track of your FAFSA and financial aid deadlines and make sure to get the paperwork ready to go.


Junior years are important in your high school journey and this is mostly because it could have a huge impact on your next five years and beyond.

We hope our tips and junior year checklist will help solve and answer all the questions you have about your junior year and getting into college.
We wish you the best!



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