When I was in high school, I was not guided on what to do to prepare for 'real life', for college, or shown how to navigate scholarships, etc. Unfortunately, I will make a lot of mistakes with my son.
Mistake #1 (I will start with 1, it makes me feel better) - Take the practice PSAT as a freshman.
- Freshmen are encouraged to take the practice PSAT for national merit scholarship purposes. As a sophomore, you take the PSAT, and take it again as a junior. As a senior, you take the SAT.
There are places to help you learn how to take the SAT/PSAT. Kaplan is one of the better known and most trusted sources.
- Know how to read your SAT/PSAT results.
http://sat.collegeboard.org/home and http://www.majortests.com/sat/sat-scores.php told me a lot without more confusion and without doing too much research.
As a freshman I didn't really know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn't know where I wanted to go to college or anything. My son knows that he wants to go to the Air Force Academy, be a pilot and fly missionaries all over the world. This isn't something he came up with last week. This is something he has talked about for 2 years now. Ever since he first sat in a pilots seat. My next step, after getting his PSAT score
- Look up what kind of score is required
Simply go to the website for the school of choice, and search for the SAT requirements. This will give you an idea of how much improvement you need.
- Check for application fees
Just start now. Fees have more than doubled since I applied for college. Make sure that your college or savings account will not only cover books, tuition, room and board, and what ever else is needed, but also application fees. I have heard of some being more than $50!