Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | June 2, 2008

Junior Action Plan: Summer

Last chance to impress colleges!  Your junior year is the last full academic year you have to impress colleges (because colleges make their decisions before March of your senior year).  So, make the most of it by getting yourself ready during the summer.


Your summer action plan should at least include:

  1. Maintaining your independent reading program ( ); plan to read, on average, at least 50 pages every day (i.e., 350 pages per week).  It’s a tall order, but the dividends it will pay are large.
  2. Dedicating at least 6 hours each week to SAT or ACT study; there are many study guides on the market, e.g., Kaplan or Princeton Review (also, don’t forget to check out SAT / ACT prep software).  Take three full-length practice tests: one each at the beginning, middle and end of the summer.
  3. Spending at least thirty minutes, three times each week, investigating potential candidate colleges: buy a college guide (they list and compare colleges), familiarize yourself with the US News Best College Website ( ), continue to  browse through college websites on the Internet; many of them have pages for “perspective students” (your goal is to become familiar with as many colleges as possible; try to get a feel for what you like in a college).  Pay special attention to colleges that are within a three-hour drive of your home (they are easy to visit, and if you decide to attend one of these, your commute will be less of a hassle).



Start your summer reading with these challenging books:


A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

At Swim-Two-Birds, by Flann O’Brien

How to Read Literature like a Professor: a Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines, by Thomas Foster

The Poetry of Arab Women, by Nathalie Handal

Tell Them Who I Am, by Elliot Leibow

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