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Junior | 3rd Quarter

Junior Year Success Guide THRIVE Gilbert Public Schools

Junior Year Credit Check-In | Review your 4-year plan for Senior Year

This is a good time to check your transcript and credit checks to make sure you are on track for graduation as well as meeting the admissions criteria for any schools you will be submitting applications to in the fall.

Make sure you sit down with your counselor and discuss your future plans so they can help best advise you.

This is your last chance to take AP, Dual Enrollment or Honors classes. The level of rigor you take in high school is often a consideration in college acceptance and scholarship awards.

Consider your college admissions and program of study when deciding on Dual Enrollment versus AP. AZTransfer is a great tool to see how these courses will transfer to our in-state universities.

Note: If you are applying out-of-state, you need to check with each university to see their policy for dual enrollment credit acceptance and what AP scores are awarded core credit. 

Discuss your course selections with parents/guardians/teachers/advisors. Ask the experts of the classes and the people that know you the best what they would recommend.  Plus, discussing your plans and goals with people can help hold you accountable.

Choose your course requests carefully. Double-check that your requests are correct and legible (if you are submitting your requests on paper). You do not want to have to wait in long lines in the fall trying to get a schedule change for something that could have been avoided. Be sure you register for all classes that are requirements for graduation next year.   

Research College Entrance and Applications

It is important that you understand the entry requirements for all of the universities or colleges that you are interested in applying to as they can vary from state to state.  You also should begin looking at the applications to ensure you are aware of what you need to accomplish early in senior year. Each college within a university may have its own additional GPA or test score requirements. Meet with your counselor or career center team to discuss what you plan to major in so they can help you be on track.

Sign up for the ACT and/or SAT

Additional ACT Registration

SAT Registration  

What if I can’t afford the fee? Don’t worry, there are waivers available to those with financial need. See your counselor for further information about your situation and what you qualify for.

Please Note: Do you qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch? If so, you may be able to claim your SAT Fee Waivers through your College Board account or learn about ACT Fee Waiver Program.

Do I need to take both tests? The answer to that is mostly dependent upon the university you plan to attend, but you can explore all of the exams here.  It never hurts you to take both.  Not sure which exam is right for you? Here's a checklist to compare your strengths and help you decide


You should not just roll out of bed on the Saturday morning of the exam and "give it your best shot".

These tests require preparation.

For online resources, Khan Academy is the official study guide for the SAT, and there are similar free platform to help you prepare for the ACT. Outside companies also offer test prep courses for a fee that will cover the content of the exams plus test-taking strategies. You can find information for these offerings in your counseling office and career center.  

ZAPS Test Prep

Personal Statements & College Essays

A well-written personal statement/college essay can make the difference between being admitted into the university of your choice, obtaining a scholarship or not receiving it.

Your personal statement or essay is your chance to show what is unique about you and to get the admissions or scholarship committees’ attention. It is worth taking the time on this, so don’t delay, start writing this today.

For tips on what goes into a good personal statement, check out these resources:

College Essay Guy - Free Guide to Writing a Personal Statement 

Article: 9 Essay Writing Tips to ‘Wow' College Admissions Officers – 
Article: How to Write the Best Personal Statement -

Review In-state and Out-of-state University Entrance Requirements

It is important that you know what the entry requirements are for all of the universities you are planning to apply to.

You don’t want to find out too late that you don’t qualify. Take the time to look up each university/college and check their undergraduate entry requirements. Double-check your high school transcript and course requests for each year to ensure you are on track in meeting these. 

PSAT/NMSQT Information

The PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitute Test) is a great primer for the SAT, but it is so much more than a trial run!  PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships.  More than 3.4 million high school students take this nationwide, multiple-choice test every year.   

The best way to study for the SAT is by using your PSAT results from October to focus specifically on the particular areas you need to improve. Your PSAT results can provide you with a personalized study plan if you link them with Khan Academy – the official test prep site for College Board. In addition, you can read about and take practice SAT tests on the CollegeBoard website.

Continue Your Career Research & Exploring Post-Grad Options

Did you know that each high school has a Career Center Coordinator and/or College and Career Liaison that can help you think about options for life after high school?

They are great people to know and can get you better connected to opportunities like field trips, guest speakers, job shadows, college visits, etc. Take some time and go introduce yourself.

Meet Your High School Career Center Coordinator and/or College and Career Liaisons 

Campo Verde | Canyon ValleyDesert Ridge | Gilbert | Highland | Mesquite 

ACT® Testing & Information

SAT® Testing & Information

Timeline & Relevant Information for Juniors

Get & Stay Involved!

Looking for ways to get involved? Keep a lookout for your school’s club fair!

It is always a good time to get involved on your high school campus. There are clubs for everyone ranging from coloring clubs, K-pop, volunteer/service, mentoring, equality and many more. Also, all CTE programs have student organizations, as do all of the performing/visual arts and sports teams

GPS High School Clubs & Activities 

Campo Verde | Desert Ridge | GCA | Gilbert | 
 | Mesquite 

Local Community Programs, Service & Volunteering Opportunities

Meet With Your Counselor

Your counselor can help you with much more than just schedule changes!

GPS Counseling Departments

Campo Verde | Canyon Valley| Desert Ridge | GCA | Gilbert | Highland | Mesquite 

Ready for a Challenge?

If you're already involved in clubs or activities, consider taking on a leadership role this year!

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