• Students around a table

    Prepare-Tenth Grade


    Establish goals for the year and develop a plan with your school counselor to achieve them.

    Continue to explore college and career opportunities.

    • Go online or visit your school’s college and career center to learn about opportunities that match your goals, interests, and skills. Think broadly. There are many different career and educational options available.
    • Attend college fairs and career fairs.
    • Plan college visits. Consider visiting colleges that vary in size, location, and fields of study.
    • Contact or visit apprenticeship programs and ask about specific programs, pathways, and on-the-job training.
    • See how to get started.

    Meet with your school counselor to make any changes to your courses based on your college and career interests and goals.

    Plan and participate in career related learning experiences (CRLE).

    • Speak to your career coordinator and watch for career day events and activities in your school’s bulletin, monitors, or college and career center.
      • Events and activities may include informational interviews, job-shadows, internships, school speakers, and visits to local businesses and industry organizations.
    • Log your CRLE in your Naviance journal located in the About Me tab. This will help you complete your CRLE reflection, which is required for graduation.
      • Include the name and date of the experience.
      • Write a few sentences about the experience.

    Establish goals for the year and develop a plan with your school counselor to achieve them.

    Get involved in extracurricular activities like sports, student government, music groups, and volunteerism.

    Keep a record of these activities for your resume and college applications. Use Naviance to track your activities and build your resume. Extracurricular activities can help you discover your interests, develop leadership skills, demonstrate time-management, and show a commitment that colleges and employers look for in an application.

    Learn about the different college admissions tests.

    • PSAT/NMSQT - practice/preliminary test for SAT and used to determine National Merit Award finalists
    • SAT - Scholastic Assessment Test
    • ACT
    • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language - evaluates ability of non-native speakers to use/understand English in academic setting.

    Four-year colleges and universities require the ACT or SAT scores for their applications.

    Community colleges do not require the ACT or SAT for admission but will use the scores for placement into math and English courses. If you don’t have an ACT or SAT score, you will need to take a placement test from the college as part of the application process.

    Take a practice/preliminary college admissions exam.

    T is offered to all 10th graders at PPS. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT will help you prepare for college admission tests. Consider taking the ACT practice test on ACT.org and the SAT practice test on Collegeboard.com to see which test may be better suited to your abilities.


    Continue to use Naviance to keep a list of college and career interests.

    Note: If you keep your list of “colleges I am thinking of” current in Naviance, you will get a reminder notice when those college representatives are at your school or in Portland. This will help you learn more about schools and schools track interest, so it may help improve your chance of admission too.

    Review your PSAT/NMSQT results.

    Learn about ways to pay for college. Most families get help paying for college. Financial Planning page.

    Work with your school counselor to take rigorous courses, such as advanced math and science, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Career and Technical Education (CTE), and dual credit courses.

    College admissions officers look for these courses, and they will help you prepare for college level work. If you score satisfactorily on AP and IB exams, they can count for college credit and help offset some costs too. CTE courses incorporate technical skills and knowledge, academic foundation and real-world experiences to prepare you for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers. Many students need academic support to do well in these courses. Speak with your teachers and counselor about support options available at your school.


    Make a list of career areas that you are interested in. Understand the postsecondary education you need to pursue them.

    Understand the postsecondary education options that best fit your needs and goals.

    stand qualities you want in a college in terms of location, size, degrees offered, fields of study, and so on. Keep in mind that colleges offer a broad range of programs and degrees.

    Understand your family’s financial needs for college. Visit the Understand Your Family's Needs page to calculate your costs.

    Prepare for the SAT or ACT.

    Consult with your counselor about preparing for the SAT or ACT. College admissions test preparation resources can be found in the following links. Note that these links include a mix of fee-based and free resources. SAT ACT TOEFL Princeton Review ACTStudent App on itunes Kaplan Test Prep SAT preparation on Khan Academy

    Make summer plans to work or participate in a variety of college and career related experiences, such as volunteerism, college visits, job-shadows, and internships. Take the time to speak with people in your daily life who are in careers that may be of interest to you.

    Other Years:
    9th Grade
    11th Grade
    12th Grade