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9th Grade Checklist


  • Find a calendar (electronic or paper) and dedicate yourself to using it for 4 years of high school
  • Attend any high school orientations and Back to School nights to learn about the different activities available at your high school.
  • Get involved. Are there any clubs, sports or activities that interest you? Join clubs, play sports, and volunteer
  • Do you understand your high schools graduation requirements In California, all high school students must pass a test to earn a high school diploma. The test is called the CAHSEE. Some students with disabilities do not have to pass this test. Learn more about the test and find study guides here.
  • Aim for A and B grades in all of your classes. Focus on your class work and your homework to develop the study skills you will need to succeed in college. Contrary to popular belief, Freshman grades do matter!
  • Ask your guidance counselor or teachers what Honors and Advanced Placement courses are available, whether you are eligible, and how to enroll in them.
  • Take advantage of your 9th grade college and career class, Plan Ahead.
  • Work with one of your parents to estimate your financial aid using FAFSA4caster and be sure to save for college. Learn about managing your money.
  • Get to know your teachers. You'll need their help later. Many colleges ask students get letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors.
  • Start a list of your awards, honors, paid and volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. Update it throughout high school.


  • If you are struggling with any classes, don't wait to seek out help from teachers.
  • Start exploring. Who do you want to be? Check out 15 career pathways.
  • You can also sign into your CONNECT EDU account and take all three “Get to Know Yourself” assessments
  • In January and February, consider what you might like to do over the summer, such as working, volunteering, or taking a class. Some programs even have scholarships. Check out summer options.


Other Grade Level Checklists