Student Services » Junior Year

Junior Year

During the junior year it is important for students to make critical decisions that will have a major impact on the next five years (and beyond) as they begin narrowing lists of colleges and career paths.

Students will consider personal learning styles, fields of interest, and their academic history when selecting "good fit" colleges by actively seeking out information on schools and developing a list of schools for which they plan to apply. They also should know their academic standing and how that relates to their college admission chances.

Naviance will become a tool used daily in the summer/fall of senior year, so students will become more familiar with the program by updating their resumes, completing personal assessments and inventories, as well as exploring colleges through SuperMatch.

The junior year is also the time students should schedule as many college visits as possible. No student should select a college if they have not visited the school, spoken with an admissions counselor in their department of study, and experienced that “Aha” moment when they stepped foot on the campus. This connection is what is going to ensure students are successful because they are choosing where they want to go for the right reasons. 

Student Responsibilities

  • Consider the courses you chose and decide if the right choices were made. Students want to be sufficiently challenged, but not overwhelmed. It’s important to take challenging courses, but it is just as important to face challenges with a Growth Mindset in order to persevere, learn and grow. 
  • Look at your resume.  If you feel you need to increase your activities, consider the clubs and activities that align with your interests. Try something new. It’s impossible to know if you like something unless you try.
  • Make a plan for when to apply for scholarships. Additional scholarships will become available for you during your junior year. Write down the deadlines as scholarships are posted and stay on top of them. Don’t wait to see how much school costs.
  • Continue the commitment to work hard and care about your grades/performance. If help is needed, seek that help before falling behind.  Your transcript at the end of the junior year is what will be sent to colleges you are applying to next fall.  Be sure to finish strong!
  • Do your homework and try hard whether the teacher and the class are liked or not. It’s good practice for a future career to try to get along with people of all types. Plus, teachers are where college recommendation letters come from!
  • Build a great vocabulary. READ. READ. READ. Doing well on the PSAT, ACT and SAT all require a good vocabulary. It is much easier to build this slowly and naturally than to cram it. Reading will also help with writing, thinking, and speaking.
  • Stay organized. One of the easiest ways to keep from getting stressed is to keep everything organized. Organized people can avoid those feelings of dread that they missed an exam or homework assignment.
  • Work on a unique skill or develop a unique mindset. Determine to be really good at something, and set aside some time for it each week. Expand personal knowledge and explore current trends and inspirations: become an expert on the Black Plague or knot tying. Learn to make sushi. Learning new things can be fun and exciting and you might be surprised by your newly found interests and talents!
  • Don’t put anything on social media that is embarrassing or even potentially embarrassing. Give it the grandma check. If a post is not something grandma (or the admissions director of a favorite college) should see or read, don’t post it.
  • Make smart decisions. One dumb mistake can ruin your life.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Not just at the beginning of the year, but all the way through it. Positivity will help with your personal relationships and towards getting things done.
  • Be nice to your parents. They mean well and want the best for you.


Standardized Tests
Junior year, from start to end, is filled with standardized tests. The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) will be administered to all 10th and 11th grade students. This test, which measures critical reading, math problem-solving, and writing skills, is important for three reasons. First, it’s a good indicator and excellent preparation for the SAT test that you will take at the end of your junior year. Second, your score may qualify you for a select group of merit scholarships. Third, it’s one of the first chances you have to begin requesting information from colleges. In March of the junior year, you will take the SAT. 

The SAT is one of Indiana’s postsecondary competency graduation requirements, so all juniors will take the examination. If you have been taking advanced placement classes, you’ll have the AP Placement Tests in May. These tests are designed to test your knowledge of the subject at college level, with the results recommending that you receive advanced placement or college credit for the subject. More than 90 percent of the colleges and universities in the U.S. recognize these exam grades. Finally, in May or June, you should schedule another SAT and/or ACT, the basic standardized test that many colleges use as part of their admission criteria. While many colleges and universities are moving to being test optional, scores continue to be considered for competitive majors, advanced programs and scholarships.  An additional SAT will be offered at Central Catholic in the fall of senior year.  

College Planning
The junior year is THE time to get organized for handling the onslaught of college material that will be coming your way - in the mail, in your email, and from college fairs and visits to your high school. The whole college search can be a little unnerving, a bit daunting, so just relax and take your time during this year and the summer that follows to really focus on finding the right mix of colleges for you. Ideally, by the end of your junior year you’ll have visited 4-6 colleges and have a list of those you plan to apply to in the fall.  There will be an opportunity to work on your college application over the summer leading into your senior year. Registration for KNIGHTCAP will be sent in the spring of the junior year.  Take advantage of this opportunity so you can begin senior year with your college application already finished!

You’ll also want to attend a few college fairs and meet with college representatives when they visit CC.  These visits are posted via Schoology, and you will be asked to sign up in the fall. The junior year is also a good time to start investigating where the people you respect and admire attended college. You may learn something new about a certain college or be open to colleges that are not on your initial list.  This is your time to put yourself out there and ASK QUESTIONS! 

Career Research
Your career choice(s) may have a big impact on the list of potential colleges you consider, so it’s important to at least try narrowing down career possibilities. How do you discover possible career paths? Conduct research, take the career interest profiler and career cluster inventory in Naviance, talk with your family and other adult family friends, meet with your teachers and school counselors, and evaluate your likes and dislikes.  There will be an opportunity for you to meet with a variety of professionals during the Job Shadowing Day in April. You will not have classes at CC on this day.

If at the end of this self-reflection and research you are still unsure, that’s okay too. In that case, you may be looking at more comprehensive universities that offer a wide range of majors and minors. And if you conclude this step with a concrete career concept, then you can start narrowing down college possibilities. As you move to your senior year and then into college, many more career options will arise that you’ll probably at least consider.

Remember that the more you accomplish in your junior year, the more you can relax and truly enjoy your senior year in high school.

Diligence: Working with careful, and planned persistence.

  • “The plans of the diligent end in profit, but those of the hasty end in loss.” (Proverbs 21:5)