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How To Get To College starting at 9th grade

The following information is provided by The California State University, it serves as a helpful template for all students. University requirements are similar, but may entail different information. 
9th Grade
  • Take required courses to meet the CSU's admission standards: Algebra 1 or Geometry, college prep English, and a foreign language.
  • Take elective courses that meet the CSU's admission standards: history, English, math, science, visual and performing arts, and foreign language.
  • Begin or update your student planner at . The planner has information on courses and grades required for CSU admission.
10th Grade
  • Take Geometry or Algebra II.
  • Take college prep English.
  • October: Register for the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test), a practice exam for the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test).
  • Take part in enrichment programs and summer workshops at CSU campuses in subjects like music, science, engineering, writing, filmmaking, and others.
11th Grade
  • Review with your school counselor the classes you need to take for CSU admission, including Alebra II or advanced math and English with emphasis on writing and critical reading.
  • Take the CSU's Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam ( to determine if you are ready for college-level math and English/language arts. This is an optional part of the STAR test, which is taken in May.
  • Students taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes: Register to take the AP exams in the spring.  You can earn college credit for AP courses if you score well on the test(s).
  • Register for the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or the ACT (American College Testing) a month before the exam.  If you take in the spring or summer, you will get the results in time to see if you need to retake it in the fall.
12th Grade
  • Take English and other courses required for CSU admission.  Advanced math courses such as Trigonometry or Analytic Geometry/Calculus are also recommended.
  • If you were not "Not College Ready Yet" or "Ready for College-Conditional" in mathematics on the 11th grade Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam, you are required to take a 12th grade math course with a prerequisite of Algebra II to improve your math skills.  This may increse your chances of passing the CSU's placement test.
  • If  you were "Not College Ready Yet" for English on the Early Assessment Program (EAP) exam, visit to practice your English skills.  This may increase your chances of passing the CSU's English Placement Test.
  • Early September: Register for the October SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or ACT (American College Testing) if needed.
  • October/November: Apply to the CSU (  If you regularly updated your "Student Planner," your course information will be automatically transferred to your application.  Application deadline is November 30, unless otherwise noted.
  • Apply for scholarships.  Check with your counselor or college center for information.
  • Early November: Register for the December SAT or ACT if you still need exams.  This is your last chance for most colleges.
  • January-March: Apply for financial aid (  The deadline is March 2.
  • March-May: Register for the CSU's placement exam (unless you are exempt), which is required prior to enrollment in the CSU.
  • Late Spring: Students taking AP classes should take the AP exams.  You can earn college credit for the AP courses if you score well on the test(s).