Here's a quick guide to important college preparation tasks, month by month:
- Request letters of recommendation from teachers (seniors).
- Begin working on application essays (seniors).
- Register for October 5, 2013 SAT or October 26, 2013 ACT (juniors/seniors).
- Check out 2013-2014 dates for SAT Subject Tests (sophomores/juniors/seniors).
- Register for the October 16, 2013 or October 19, 2013 PSAT/NMSQT (freshmen/sophomores).
- Register for the ACT PLAN (freshmen/sophomores).
- Take SAT: October 5, 2013 or ACT: October 26, 2013 (juniors/seniors).
- Register for November 2, 2013 SAT. (juniors/seniors)
- Take PSAT/NMSQT: October 16, 2013 or October 19, 2013 (freshmen/sophomores).
- Attend college fairs (freshmen/sophomores/juniors).
- Work on college applications for schools with January 1, 2014 deadlines (seniors).
- Register for December 7, 2013 SAT, January 25, 2014 SAT or December 14, 2013 ACT (juniors/seniors).
- Take SAT: November 2, 2013 or December 7, 2013 or ACT: December 14, 2013 (juniors/seniors).
- Register for SAT or ACT exam prep course (juniors).
- Visit colleges over holiday break (sophomores/juniors).
- Submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1, 2014 as possible (seniors).
- Take SAT: January 25, 2014 or ACT: February 8, 2014 (juniors/seniors).
- Register for March 8, 2014 SAT or February 8, 2014 ACT (juniors/seniors).
- Schedule a time to talk with the guidance counselor about college plans (juniors).
- Review Student Aid Report when it arrives 4-6 weeks after FAFSA is submitted (seniors).
- Complete all applications with spring deadlines (seniors).
- Register for May 3, 2014 SAT or April 12, 2014 ACT (juniors).
- Take SAT: March 8, 2014 or ACT: April 12, 2014 (juniors).
- Talk with the Advanced Placement (AP) coordinator about upcoming AP exams (juniors).
- Begin researching scholarships (sophomores/juniors).
- Register for June 7, 2014 SAT or June 14, 2014 ACT (juniors).
- Take SAT: May 3, 2014 or June 7, 2014/ACT: June 14, 2014 (juniors).
Finally, Huntington offers a few tips for parents to help their teens prepare for college:
- Encourage reading. College courses often require a lot of reading, and your teen will need to be prepared for a heavy reading load.
- Work on communication skills. Most college students write a lot of papers and give various presentations in college, so if your teen's written and verbal communication skills could use work, seek help now so he or she is prepared for college-level academics.
- Encourage time management. College freedom can cause many students to develop bad habits such as procrastination. Your teen will be more successful at college if he or she has already learned to establish a routine, prioritize his or her work, set and work toward goals and more.
- Promote organization. An organized student is a far more successful student. Teach your student to keep track of his or her assignments and schedule using a planner and establish and stick to an organizational system for his or her desk and backpack.
Huntington adds that Huntington exam preparation programs are a great way to help students prepare for the ACT and SAT -- and college-level academics. "We strive to give students study tips and strategies, time management tips and other academic skills that they will use throughout their lifetime," Huntington says.