Sophomore Year

Your sophomore year in high school

With your freshman year in the books, your sophomore year in high school is a great time to start easing into the college search process. Start thinking about the types of colleges you’d like to consider and, if possible, start connecting with them through campus tours and other formal visit programs.

Taking the PSAT or PLAN exam is a critical step early in high school to prepare you for college. When you take the SAT or ACT during your junior and/or senior year(s), you need to be prepared, and that’s exactly what the PSAT and PLAN exams do—they let you experience what to expect.

Additionally, your junior-year PSAT score determines your eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program, so taking the exam seriously during your sophomore year will only improve your odds of a higher 11th-grade score.

You’ll often hear that there is no better way to know if a school is the right fit for you than to see it in person, and it’s true. But when you go on a college tour, don’t just attend, participate! Ask questions about the things you want to know during your tour: what is there to do after classes? Where do students eat? What are classes like? Getting answers to these and other questions you have will help you better visualize yourself on campus.

Your high school guidance counselor, or college counselor, is a great resource to help you navigate the college search process. Schedule a time to talk with them about topics such as:

  • Possible majors you are interested in
  • Large vs. small colleges and universities
  • How to make yourself a competitive applicant

These conversations will help you refine your college search and could even contribute to shaping the path of your college career.

Just as you did during your freshman year, you should put money aside for college when possible during your sophomore year. This is also a great time to improve your financial literacy by learning about money management through IU’s MoneySmarts program>.