Senior year!! Woot woot! Senior year is awesome, obviously, marking your arrival at the top of the high school food chain. If you’ve played the college admissions game well, life will suck for only a few more months ;-).
Summer Before Senior Year
This is the best advice you’re going to get about senior year: GET YOUR APPLICATIONS DONE BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS! This not only is a huge relief to EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE, it also frees up time to spend getting the best grades of your academic career (see “Fall Semester” below), playing leadership roles in your activities, excelling in sports, visiting schools, and, oh yeah, BEING A SENIOR 😉 Do yourself and your family a favor and take CPE’s CommonApp Boot Camp to ensure a professionally approved, standout application for a fraction of the price of similar programs offered by others (a small fraction at that).
If you’ve been working with CPE for more than a year, chances are your standardized testing is done by the end of junior year. That’s our goal for just about every student with whom we work (though there are legitimate exceptions, for example, when other commitments prevent you from preparing properly or taking an exam on a given test date). Those who have scores good enough for all the schools on their list have a HUGE burden–in terms of both time you you’ve recouped from having to spend preparing and, consequently, overall enjoyment of your fall semester–lifted. You can take another standardized test or two or three, but you don’t have to sweat it/them.
If you still need an SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Test, however, you need to carve out the necessary time to prepare. We can help you do that with one of our classes (intense, 5-day crash courses in our Smart Summer Sessions or our flagship 6-Session SAT and ACT prep geared for the September-December exams), private tutoring, semi-private tutoring, or economical guided self-study programs.
The Big Picture
Take CPE’s CommonApp Boot Camp
Your school owns you from September to winter vacation. Assuming you’re applying to some schools early (i.e., those with November deadlines for December decisions), you can already see the bright light under the tunnel. But don’t kid yourself about your long-awaited “senior slide” and start prematurely: it begins the day you get an acceptance letter from a school you’d be happy to attend. When that happens, you have our permission to enjoy the bleep out of the rest of the year. But until then….
Your top priority is GRADES. First and second marking period grades are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to admissions committees. Let’s say, for example, you’re on the bubble as an engineering candidate. Your guidance counselor may get a call from a committee member wondering how you’re doing in Calculus and Physics. Or say a regional director calls to express interest in your candidacy and to get more information from your guidance counselor: “How’s Janet doing with her course load so far as a senior?” You catch our drift? Don’t think that just because you have a GPA good enough for a given school that you can let up on the gas in the fall of senior year. You can’t! Admissions committees love nothing more than an upward trajectory in your grades right to the last possible second (which, if you’re applying early, is first or second marking period).