Students: 10th Grade Checklist

Student: 10th Grade Checklist

Try new things during your sophomore year: take a hard class, join a club and explore college and career options.



  • Do well in school.

    Set academic and personal goals for the year.
          Know that any setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.

    Do your best to earn good grades - they matter for college and scholarships.

    Go to all of your classes. Attendance counts!

    Discover how you learn best and adopt strategies to support your learning style.
    Build good habits now to get ready for college.
          Learn how to take notes, make outlines, and do research.
          Doing well in school is like getting good at a sport – you need to practice in order to improve.

    Ask for help from your teachers, parents, counselors, tutors, or friends or use online resources.

    Turn in all assignments.

          Reading improves your focus, concentration, imagination and knowledge – in short, it makes you smarter!

    Practice good written and oral communication skills.
    Write more: keep a journal, start a blog, or join an activity like the school newspaper.
          Speak confidently: join the debate team, try out for the school play or practice public speaking in your community.
  • Take the right classes.

    Challenge yourself with honors or advanced classes, if available at your school.
          Colleges care about which courses you’re taking in high school. Colleges will be more impressed by respectable grades in challenging courses than by outstanding grades in easy classes.

    Explore opportunities to take college credit while you're still in high school.

    Plan to take math all four years in high school.

    Take a foreign/world language if offered.
          Four-year public universities in Oregon require at least two years of the same language while more selective colleges might require more.

    Take as many classes as your schedule allows.
          Explore new interests with electives including career and technical education (CTE) offered at your school.

    Explore career and technical education (CTE) career pathways at your school and local community college.
  • Get organized.

    Use a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of assignments and deadlines.

    Find a system that works for you to keep notes and papers organized like a binder or folders.

    Determine the place that you study best (at home or at the library, for example).
          Practice good study habits like turning off unnecessary technology. Use class and advisory time wisely and attend after school study programs.

    Update your file of important documents and list of activities.
          Include copies of report cards and lists of awards and honors. These will be useful for college and scholarship applications.
  • Prepare for college admission tests.

    Take the PSAT 10 or the ACT ASPIRE test.

    Review your scores with a teacher or counselor to find out what areas you need to work on to get ready for college.



  • Get involved.

    Try something new and participate in school and community activities.

    Volunteer for an organization or cause you care about.

    Make a plan for summer like volunteering or summer programs.
  • Spend time with good people.

    Choose to hang out with friends that share positive goals and interests.

    Find a mentor – a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, other trusted adult, or older student that you can talk to.

          Share the educator or family checklist with them so they know how to support you.
  • Make good choices.

    Be safe online and on your phone.
          Choose appropriate privacy settings on social media.
          Only share information with people you know and trust.
          Always ask yourself: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?
          Remember that whatever you post or share can live forever online.

    Avoid risky behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.

    Be kind; treat others with respect.



  • Explore college and career options.

    Continue exploring different occupations that match your interests.
    Consider volunteering or a job shadow to learn more.
          Talk about your future dreams and plans with your family, friends and other adults and set goals.

    Review what is most important to you in a college.

    Explore different types of colleges and make a list of colleges and universities that interest you.
          Think broadly: include two-year and four-year options as well as in-state and out-of-state choices.
          Confirm that these colleges have the program or major for your chosen careers.
          Research admission requirements for each college to make sure you’re on track.

    Get to know colleges.
          Visit a college campus that you haven't been to yet on a field trip with your school or your family.
          Explore colleges online with virtual tours or on their websites and social media.
          Attend a college fair if there is one in your area.
  • Learn about paying for college.

    You can afford college. Learn about financial aid and ways to pay for college.
          Attend financial planning or how to pay for college programs with your family.

    Explore the different costs of college.
          Complete the FAFSA4Caster to estimate how much financial aid you may receive.
          Explore the net price of the colleges on your list - use a calculator to get an estimate.

    Set up and regularly contribute to a college savings account.
    Set aside money from your summer or after-school job.
          Look into matched savings accounts that provide extra money for college.

    Make a list of scholarships and apply for any available to you now.