What to Expect Grade 10

Sophomore year is an important year for students. This is the year that students will take the MCAS exam, PSAT exam, and start to really concentrate on their career major. Students begin to move toward more independent activities such as taking Driver’s Education classes and maybe getting a small job. It is a good year to learn about time management.

Please take note of the following information:

  • Start to pay attention to graduation requirements and college entrance requirements.
  • Begin to balance your classroom coursework with extracurricular activities such as sports, student counsel or other leadership opportunities. Get involved with volunteer or community service work, or hobbies and interests that make you unique. Colleges and employers are looking for more than exceptional grades.
  • Mentally and physically prepare for the MCAS exam by getting enough sleep, eating right and cutting down on work hours if necessary around exam time.
  • Prepare as much as possible for the PSAT and use free online tutorials for help.
  • Start thinking about a savings plan for college and other important life endeavors.
    • Did you know that if you qualify for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship that tuition to a State College is waived?
    • Did you know that a Good Student Discount is given for car insurance to student drivers that hold a B average, are at the the top 20% of their class or are included in the Honor roll?
  • Begin to take reading and writing seriously, if you haven’t already done so. It is a lifelong skill that will help with MCAS, PSAT and SAT, College Entrance exams and Licensure exams and will add to your assets with any employer.
  • Prepare for the PSAT’s and take the PAST in October.
  • Continue to meet with your guidance counselor regularly to assist you with all of the items above and any other educational, social, or career questions that you can think of. We are here to help ease the pressure!

Key Terms

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship – the purposes of the scholarship are to reward and inspire student achievement; help attract more high-performing students to MA public higher education; and provide families of college-bound students with financial assistance. In order to be eligible a student must score on the Advanced category on either Mathematics or the English language arts section of the grade 10 MCAS test and score on the Proficient or Advanced category on the second subject (Mathematics or English language arts).


Please read the full article provided by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Office for Financial Assistance by clicking here.


Good Student Discount – a discount given to student drivers to assist with insurance payments.


Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) – This excerpt is taken directly from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website. Please click here for more detailed information regarding the MCAS exam. The Massachusetts Education Reform Law of 1993, state law G.L. c. 69. 1D, requires that all students who are seeking to earn a high school diploma, including students educated at public expense in an educational collaborative and approved and unapproved private special education schools within and outside the state, must meet the Competency Determination (CD) standard, in addition to meeting all local graduation requirements.


Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude/Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) and (SAT) – PSAT is the practice exam for the SAT, which is the standardized test for college admission. To learn more about those exams, please speak to your guidance counselor or view the website for specifics.

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