10th Grade Checklist

My Blueprints Portfolio:

High School Timeline for Success

Preparing step-by-step for life after high school: Use this timeline to help you make sure you’re accomplishing everything you need to, when you need to.

10th Grade

  • In October, take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) for practice. When you fill out your test sheet, check the box that releases your name to colleges so you can start receiving brochures from different schools.
  • Ask your guidance counselor about the American College Testing program’s PLAN (Pre-ACT) assessment program.  The PLAN will help you determine your academic progress and interests.  This test will also prepare you for the ACT assessment.


  • Start familiarizing yourself with general college entrance requirements.
  • Participate in your school’s or state’s career development activities.
  • Discuss your PSAT score with your counselor.
    • The people who read college applications aren’t just looking for good grades. Get involved in activities outside the classroom. Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.
    • Read, read, read. Read as many books as possible from a comprehensive reading list.
    • Work on your writing skills – you’ll need them no matter what you decide to do.
    • Find a teacher or another adult who will advise and encourage you to write well.


  • Keep your grades up so you an have the highest GPA and class rank possible.
  • Ask your counselor about postsecondary enrollment options and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
  • Continue to explore interests and careers that you think you might like.
  • Begin focusing on the type of college you would prefer (2-year or 4-year, technical or academic, small or large, rural or urban).
  • If you are interested in attending a military academy, such as West Point or Annapolis, now is the time to start planning and getting information.
  • Write to colleges and ask for their academic requirements for admission.
  • Visit a few more college campuses. Read all of the mail you receive from colleges. You may see something you like.
  • Attend college fairs.
  • Keep putting money away for college. Get a summer job.

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