Use Winter Break To Stay On Track With Test Prep and Complete Any Assigned Work
By Taylor, IvyWise Tutoring Coordinator
Winter Break is here! Time off between now and the New Year brings family time, trips, holiday fun, and hopefully some rest! However, for some students, this break can also lead to a smaller-scale version of the brain drain that we tend to see over the summer. Tests, projects, and standardized tests like ACT and SAT will pick up again as soon as students are back to school after the break, so it’s important for students to stay sharp so that they don’t fall behind once school resumes.
At IvyWise, we encourage students to continue learning and studying even when school is not in session, albeit on a smaller scale and with plenty of time to rest and recharge. Learning never stops and, especially for students prepping for the ACT or SAT, taking an extended break from studying or test prep can actually make students fall behind on their academic goals. So stay fresh (while mentally recharging) with these Winter Break study tips!
Let’s face it – students look forward to Winter Break for months! There are holiday parties, ski trips, and tons of food to be enjoyed. On top of that, it seems like an endless stretch of days where you can sleep in and have very few cares, for once. However, the reality is that you’ll likely have a five-page essay from your World History class, a 30-question geometry problem set, a science lab, and a French project all due the day school starts back up. On top of that, you might be prepping for the February ACT, or have plans to take SAT Subject Tests in the spring. Use your time wisely! You don’t want to be stuck the night before school starts again with a mountain of untouched homework.
This year, Christmas Day falls on a Monday, which is great for students who are looking to get ahead academically! Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, you can use the weekend like you normally would, by studying and being productive with your homework so that by Monday, you have earned yourself a day off. You may have more work assigned than usual, so you don’t need to finish everything that weekend. Get just enough done to make a dent so that you’re not feeling the pressure later on in the week. Since you’ll have some content from school fresh in your mind, it should be manageable!
If you’d prefer to hold off for a few days so that you can give your brain a break, consider blocking off one day per class, assignment, or subject. For example, you can aim to finish all of your science homework on Tuesday, take an ACT or SAT practice test on Wednesday, and write that World History essay on Thursday. You can also tackle some of your assignments during the time that you would have normally had extracurricular activities. With after school clubs and sports practices being cancelled or rescheduled, consider it “free time” you didn’t have before.
The takeaway: make the most efficient use of your time so that everything doesn’t pile up at the last minute! Be productive and take advantage of the time off!
Utilize Apps, Games, and Online Tools
What if you’re lucky enough that you aren’t assigned any homework over the break? You still need to stay sharp so that once you return to school, you aren’t feeling overwhelmed by the game of catch up. Consider turning to Khan Academy for practice sets and explanations on a plethora of subjects, including calculus, physics, and history. You can get ahead of your schoolwork by using some of their tools so that you are in the best mindset once you go back.
If you’d rather put off thinking about your schoolwork for the week that you’re off, try out some apps to keep your mind active. Magoosh, Quizlet, and Duolingo are all wonderful apps that should do the trick. Other ways you can get the job done are by completing crosswords, working on a sudoku puzzle, or spending some time on freerice.com.
Remember to also take the time to rest up! Your brain and body will thank you once you return to school! This is what time off from school is meant to do, so while you are managing projects, papers, and homework assignments, remember to take a few hours to yourself each day. By doing this and following all of the above suggestions, you will surely set yourself up for success in the New Year!
Remember, Winter Break is meant to be fun and a time to recharge and relax, but don’t forget that doing simple tasks, like playing with learning apps, completing any assigned homework ahead of time, and continuing test prep, will keep you on track to reach your academic goals in 2018!
What are some of your academic and test prep goals for 2018? Tell us in the comments below!
For more information on where you should be in your tutoring and test prep plan, download our free Test Prep Checklist below!