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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sophomore is a term used in the United States to describe a student in the second year of study (generally referring to high school or university study).[1][2] The word is also sometimes used in the USA as jargon for the second album released by a musician or group, the second movie of a director, or the second season of a professional athlete.[3]

The word comes from Greek, sophisma ‘clever device’ from sophizesthai ‘to devise, become wise’, and the original English spelling was "Sophumer". [4] It was not until 1726 that the spelling was established in America as "sophomore." [source?]


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High school

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In the United States, the 10th grade is usually the second year of a student's high school period and is referred to as sophomore year. High school sophomores are expected to begin preparing for the college application process, including reducing and focusing their extracurricular activities.[5] Most students reach the age of 16 while they are sophomores. The year is considered a watermark for independence, closely connected with getting a driver's license in most states. The PSAT, a college preparatory exam taken across the U.S., is now most commonly taken during a student's sophomore year. Students at this level are also considered to be developing greater ability for abstract thinking.[6]

In the U.S., colleges generally require students to declare an academic major by the end of their sophomore year.[7] College sophomores are advised to begin thinking about career options and to get involved in volunteering or social organizations on or near campus.[8]


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  1. "Concise Oxford English Dictionary". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2023-01-24.
  2. "Merriam-Webster online". Merriam-Webster.
  3. "Merriam-Webster online". Merriam-Webster.
  4. "Your Argument..is so sillie, as that not some exq[u]isite Sophister, but any punie Sophumer may at first sight discover the feebleness of it." "sophumer". Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. 1989.
  5. "Sophomore Year: Time to Narrow Down Your Extracurricular Activities". Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2023-01-24.
  6. Sophomore Year: Between Lark and a Hard Place
  7. "Do I Need to Declare a Major on My College Application?". Princeton Review. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  8. "Yale UCS - Year by Year Guide - Sophomore Year". Archived from the original on 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2023-01-24.