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Top 10 List of Summer Activities (College Prep)

One of our students recently asked, “What should I do to prepare my college applications during the summer?” Another reader pondered, “I’m not sure what my student should be doing this summer, could you help?”

Well, we’ve developed a top 10 list of tasks to accomplish regarding test prep, college admissions counseling and college applications during the summer before your senior year. The list also should help students before they apply to colleges:


Obtain college applications:

Print off all of the college applications from every school you’re interested in. Even if you’re using the common application, it’s good to know which documents each school requires.


Arrange your college visits:

The summer is a great time to travel to colleges and narrow down your college choices based on what the schools look and feel like. College visits will solve this dilemma.


Contact the admissions offices:

If you have questions about applying to an individual school, use the summer to call the admissions offices and make sure you know their requirements.


Work on your college essays:

Whether for the common app or for the school’s individual application, college essays can be tough. This is particularly true because they’re usually very broad and require you to get as much information as possible into 500 words or less.


Organize your documents:

If you don’t already have a resume or “brag sheet”, use the summer to develop them. In addition, get all of your test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT) and transcripts from your school. These will be very helpful when you develop your college list.



If you’re not already involved in some community groups or non-profit organizations, the summer is a perfect time to start. Volunteer with the local YMCA or Big Brother / Big Sister’s Club. Also, because this is the prime presidential season, you can volunteer for one of the major Presidential campaigns. Whatever you do, work hard and make good contacts.



This summer you should do all assigned summer reading. But go one step further: read magazines like The Economist and publications like the Wall Street Journal. Reading these periodicals will keep your mind fresh and prepared not just for high school, but for college.


Stay active:

If you’re involved in sports, keep it up. The exercise and activity will no doubt help you concentrate in the fall. And if you’re an athlete hoping to get recruited, maintaining your fitness is crucial.


Take summer classes:

Whether you’re in a big or small city, there’s a good chance the local colleges offer summer enrichment courses- you could even take some college courses for credit- like Creative Writing, Chemistry or Math. These courses will keep your mind fresh. And we offer SAT and ACT courses.

to help you get higher scores.


Prepare for the SAT / ACT:

If you haven’t already taken the SAT, it’s important to spend the summer preparing for these standardized tests. Spend at least one hour a night on a new chapter on the SAT or ACT.

We hope this list of top 10 summer activities helps you get ready for the all-important transition from high school to college. If you need college admissions counseling, contact us today to get started.

Ross Blankenship,
Education expert and Founder, Top Test Prep

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