Review your second quarter report card and share it with your parents. Heed the warnings and follow the suggestions mentioned in the above October suggestions.

You will meet with your guidance counselor to pick courses for your sophomore year. Consider the classes that you would be interested in taking next year. Honors students and potential Honors students should consider taking their first Advanced Placement course.

The Advanced Placement Tests allow current high school students to demonstrate college level proficiency in demanding high school course work. A student does not need to be enrolled in a specifically designated AP course to take an exam in the subject, but it is expected that advanced study in a demanding curriculum will be necessary to perform well on AP exams. The AP exam is not required as part of the college admissions process. Many students who choose to take AP courses do so in their sophomore, junior, and senior years. College policies vary on how AP scores are used. Some colleges award credit for qualifying AP Exam grades, which means that you actually earn points towards your college degree. Others award advanced placement, which means that when you’re in college, you can skip introductory courses, enter higher-level classes and/or fulfill general education requirements. College credit or placement can allow you to move into upper-level courses sooner, pursue a double major or a combined bachelor’s / master’s degree program, gain time to study and travel abroad, and complete your undergraduate degree in fewer than four years. You can receive credit for equivalent courses worth thousands of dollars at colleges and universities. Colleges and universities give credit only for qualifying AP Exam grades, not AP course grades. Without a corresponding AP Exam grade, they can’t verify that the AP courses you take are true college-level courses. If you’re not looking to earn credit or placement, you should take the AP Exams for the following reasons: (a) AP exams provide colleges and universities with additional information about your ability to succeed in college level study, (b) some scholarship awards consider AP Exam grades, (c) many colleges use AP Exam grades to place students into honors classes, and (d) the AP Exams give you a clear understanding of what you need to succeed on a college exam.