On the PSAT, my scores were: verbal 560 and math 480. My grade point average is 2.4. Do I have any chance of getting into a state school? I've quit slacking off and am trying to do better. -- Sophomore


Colleges really look closely at the grades students get in their junior year, so you have a chance to improve your GPA. And if you spend some time on preparing for the SAT, you should be able to get higher scores.

Go online to the Web sites of the colleges that interest you. Pay attention to the GPA and SAT scores that students who were admitted have. This should help you see if you are likely to be admitted to these schools. It will look best if you are at the high end of these scores. Pay attention, too, to the percentage of applicants who are admitted.