High School Year by Year To get into college, there are specific things you need to do each year. Following this timeline will help keep you organized and on track. 9th Grade Get high school off to a good start by working hard in all of your classes. Remember, all of your freshman grades will become part of your permanent record. Your freshman grades will also be used to calculate your high school grade point average (GPA). Develop a four-year high school plan. This plan should list all of the courses you intend to take each year. Make sure that your four-year plan includes the recommended college prep courses. Talk to your parents and your high school counselor about your plans to attend college. 10th Grade Consider taking a college practice test. Your counselor will let you know which test (PSAT 10, PreACT, or PSAT/NMSQT) is offered at your school. Make informal visits to colleges to get a feel for what different college campuses are like. Start thinking about what you are looking for in a college with regards to size, location, cost, majors, and special interests.