Prep for America logo English Chinese Korean Home

College Countdown

Here is our miniature College Countdown calendar to help you get started planning your path to university in America.

9th Grade (14-15 years old)

- Grades are very important
Make sure you’re getting the help you need from your teachers and tutors to get the grades you want. But remember, grades aren’t all that matter…

- Cultivate your hobby
Universities like to know that you do something outside of the classroom, be it a soccer team, designing your own website, writing poetry, or painting, now is a good time to let your hobby flourish.

- English, English, English
Read, write, speak, and listen to as much of the English language as you can. You will need it both on your TOEFL and SAT exams, and once you get to America. The sooner you start practicing the better.

10th Grade (15-16 years old)

- Continuity
Continue using your English, practicing your hobby, and getting good grades.

- Prepare for the PSAT
The PSAT is a good indicator for how you will perform on the SAT. Begin preparing to take this exam at the end of your second year of high school.

11th Grade (16-17 years old)

- SAT preparations
If you haven’t already signed up for an SAT preparatory course, or begun your self-study program, this is the year you must start! You’ll need to take the SAT in May of your second to last year of high school.

-  TOEFL
This is the year you should take your TOEFL exam. The TOEFL is best taken before the SAT as it can be used as a warm up.

- University research
Where do you want to go? What do you want to study? Which school has the extracurricular programs you want? This is the year to do your research.

- Internships
If you have time during your holiday or summer breaks, find an internship in the field you are interested in studying while in university. Do take note that some companies may be hesitant to have interns under the age of 18.

12th Grade (17-18 years old)

- University application time
Where will you apply? Are you applying for early decision? This is when you start applying to the schools that you have carefully researched.

- Internships
If you have already had an internship during your previous year, see if you can continue interning at that same company. Or, if it wasn’t quite what you were looking for take time during your holiday or summer breaks to find another internship that you are interested in completing. If you haven’t had an internship yet, the summer after you finish high school is still a good time to apply for one.