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10th Grade

Now that you have been in high school for a year, taking the right classes and preparing for college and careers is more important than ever. Here are some steps to help you stay on track:

Work hard in school.

  • Do your best every day in your classes and try to get good grades.
  • Review and, if necessary, revise your course plan for high school. Talk to your school counselor to make sure the courses you choose keep you on track for graduation and prepare you for college. Use your electives to explore your interests. (DCPS students)
  • Register for advanced classes such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual credit, which can help you get started early on college credit.

Prepare for college.

  • Attend the Greater Washington National College Fair on Oct. 12, 2010, to find out more about college options.
  • Take the PLAN or PSAT/NMSQT to prepare for the ACT or SAT. See your school counselor for more information or to register. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Explore colleges online or visit colleges in person, if you can. Keep a list of schools that interest you and pick five to 10 to contact for more information. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Keep a list of at least one teacher or another adult whom you would ask for a recommendation letter. (DCPS students)
  • Save an example of good work that you did in class this year. (DCPS students)
  • Try to save some money for college. If you can, attend programs about how to pay for college (your school counselor or college access provider can hook you up).
  • Start researching scholarship opportunities and other ways to pay for college.
  • If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can request one online. You will need it for financial aid and job applications.

Explore careers.

  • Think about what you like to do and find out what areas of work — as well as specific careers within those areas — suit your interests. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Find out more about your personality and additional careers that might suit you. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Consider applying for a part-time job. You can gain valuable work experience and save money for college.
  • Update your resume so you can apply for jobs. (DCPS students | other students)
  • Practice interviewing for jobs — these skills also will help with college interviews. (DCPS students | other students)

Get involved.

  • Volunteer in your community, play sports, or join clubs. Getting involved will help you explore your interests and get you started on meeting the community service graduation requirement. Plus, many scholarships require students to demonstrate a history of community service. (DCPS students)
  • Consider running for class officer or a position as a leader in a club or community organization.
  • Keep a list of your extracurricular activities as well as any awards or recognition you receive — you will need this information for college applications and for many financial aid opportunities.
  • Talk to your family, teachers, and other adults about your plans so they can help you stay on track!

( 4 Votes )



Nkemdirim, a Benjamin Banneker alum, graduated from Grinnell College ... view video (1:05)


Homework doesn't matter — you can blow it off and still get good grades.