Roadmap To Success:
Freshman year: Pick challenging classes and look for internships and summer programs that will make you stand out.
Sophomore year: Take the PSAT for the first time. Continue to do well in school, take as many AP classes as possible, join clubs and sports teams that interest you (don’t sign-up for everything!). Take ACT and SAT practice test sometime in Spring of sophomore year or the summer after.
Junior year: The tough one. Take National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) in Fall, take practice ACT and SAT (if you haven’t already taken them!). Prep for and then take an ACT or SAT. Take AP/SAT Subject Tests. Start seriously talking about college with a college counselor.
Senior year: Fight senioritis, get the applications done in August, September, and October so that by November you can enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and not spend it with boring and inane essay prompts. Enjoy your second semester but don’t slack off so much that your admission is revoked (it’s happened).