You don’t want to be that kid in the back of the car who keeps asking “Why?” about everything. Yeah… don’t make your guidance counselor threaten to… “come back there…”

With enough students in a typical counselor’s caseload to fill a small stadium, it is important that you don’t waste the poor guy or gal’s time. You can ask them their favorite color when you accidentally run into them at Arby’s.

Here’s a Shmoop-approved checklist of the questions every student should ask a high-school counselor. Some of these are dependent on what grade you're in, but take a look (and bring a pen to write down the answers).

  1. How can I schedule my high school course load to meet the required classes for graduation?
  2. How can I schedule my high school course load to create a solid college-application transcript?
  3. What Elective courses should I take?
  4. Are there Advanced Placement or Honors Courses available?
  5. Does our school offer an IB Diploma, and can I sign up?
  6. When should I sign up for the PSAT? How can I prepare?
  7. When should I sign up for the SAT and ACT? How can I prepare?
  8. When should I take SAT Subject Tests, and which tests do you recommend?
  9. Do you offer after school or weekend college counseling sessionsor workshops?
  10. What college guides or resources do you have available?
  11. Do you have a schedule of nearby college fairs?
  12. Do you have an alumni network I can contact for college advice?
  13. Do you write letters of recommendation?
  14. Can you help me find appropriate scholarship opportunities?
  15. Can I see my transcript?
  16. Do you offer help with Financial Aid forms?

Looking for additional resources to get you into the school of your dreams (or your future career for you 10-year preppers)? Check out our other amazing College Prep Resources.