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This year, bear in mind that you will be taking your first ACT or SAT tests next year, and preparation should be ongoing throughout your sophomore year, including ongoing writing instruction. Practice materials are available. College Board, the company who generates the SAT test, published The Official SAT study Guide, and the 2018 edition includes eight real SAT tests for practice. Similarly, the makers of the ACT published The Official ACT Prep Guide. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these tests and see which you are more comfortable with. Most colleges require one or the other, but never both. Like anything else, the more you practice, the better you get, and it pays to start practicing now.
Also, this is the year when you should begin narrowing your focus on your extracurricular activities, deciding what you plan to continue with and excel at. If possible, get involved with your community in some way via employment, volunteering, or community service, anything that demonstrates your good citizenship, leadership, and taking initiative. Remember that as important as your academic accomplishments are, things you’ve done outside the classroom also show colleges a great deal about who you are as a person, which helps college admissions personnel determine if you would be a good fit for their school.
In the Spring, carefully select your Junior courses. This is the time to challenge yourself and explore meaningful academic opportunities. The more honors and Advanced Placement courses you take, the stronger your academic profile will be. Finally, make sure to establish a positive rapport with your Guidance Counselor, if possible, as well as your teachers; you may be asking some of them for letters of recommendation down the road. Have an awesome Sophomore year!