New Year’s Resolutions for the College Bound Student

From freshmen to seniors, there are worthwhile strategies that students can employ in 2017 that will vastly improve the college admissions process ahead. With the clean slate of the New Year, consider these academic resolutions as you and your student make your way through 2017 together. 

•    For Freshmen
First year students should create specific college application goals early on. Of course, interests and plans will evolve as the high school years go by, but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t make a timeline for college visits, prepping for the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT, scoping out potential AP courses, extra-curricular activities of interest, and the like. By creating an overarching outline of their college preparedness plans now, freshman students can greatly reduce the stress associated with test prep and applications when the time to apply arrives.


•    For Sophomores
Many high school students wait until junior year before considering college admissions tests, but sophomores who take a hands-on approach to test prep won’t have to work their way up from a low score, or agonize over last-minute cramming sessions. By encouraging your child to prepare for the PSAT, as well as researching the right admissions test for their skillset (ACT vs. the SAT), he or she can focus clearly on honing their skills for these important tests starting in the Sophomore year.  In some cases, they might even consider preparing and taking an SAT or ACT test during the summer vacation time.

•    For Juniors
While maintaining a solid GPA, prepping for the ACT/SAT/APs and SAT Subject Tests and participating in extra-curricular or volunteer activities, most students make decisions about where they might want to go to school and what they will be studying.  Proactive juniors should use their valuable third year of high school to make a game plan to figure out these critical decisions. Then over summer, before their senior year begins, they should have a master calendar/plan that will include requirements and deadlines to apply to the target schools of choice.  This plan should ensure that completed applications will be delivered on time without a lot of hustling in the fall.   Summer is also an ideal time to create multiple essay drafts, and thoughtfully engage with colleges apps at an unhurried pace that’s ideal for best results.

•    For Seniors
Start the year seeking letters of recommendation from teachers and leaders in your community.  Ensure that the SAT and/or ACT scores are within range for the target schools.  If necessary, retake a test for the last time in the fall of your Senior year.  For parents and students alike, the college application process can be a whirlwind. Even for families that prepare early and in detail, the emotional rollercoaster of college admissions can create unnecessary family stress. Don’t forget that the journey is just as important as the destination. Build a map to achieve your goal. The hard work and preparation he or she has put in will pay dividends in the future, no matter where he or she arrives for college in the fall. 

At Vogel Prep Tutors in Scottsdale, we recognize that academic preparedness begins early on in a student’s life. That’s why we’ve identified and possess the tools and resources necessary to make your student’s high school career and college transition a positive and successful evolution. Whether your student is prepping for the HSPT, SSAT, PSAT, SAT or ACT, AP Exams, writing essays or brushing up on the basics, we offer private, semi-private and small groups classes that can make 2017 a life-changing academic year for the growth for your student.