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Juniors: Use the Holidays to Make an SAT, ACT Prep Plan

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
"Winter break is quickly approaching, and with it comes a respite for high schoolers. The holidays are also an opportunity for students to focus on the academic tasks that may have taken a backseat during the end of the semester.

One important consideration for juniors is how to use the coming weeks to best prepare for the SAT or ACT ahead of late winter or spring test dates. View winter break as an opportunity to set a foundation for exam preparations without other pressing distractions.

Here are three tasks to start off your SAT or ACT preparations." ...

https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/2017-12-18/juniors-use-the-holidays-to-make-an-sat-act-prep-plan

Replies to: Juniors: Use the Holidays to Make an SAT, ACT Prep Plan

  • yikesyikesyikesyikesyikesyikes Forum Champion U. Michigan Posts: 1,765 Forum Champion
    This is strategically sound, but it is sad that people can't just relax during the holidays.



  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,401 Senior Member
    @yikesyikesyikes it prepares them for senior year, where holidays will be panic apply-to-everywhere time unless they get in to their EA/ED favorite.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,301 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    Baloney. Use the holidays to relax, recharge and reconnect with friends and family. Vacations exist for mental health, period.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 36,499 Super Moderator
    ^I agree. Geez, no wonder we have so many stressed-out high schoolers.
  • porcupine98porcupine98 Registered User Posts: 1,612 Senior Member
    Seriously. What do HS students get off this time of year? A week? Maybe two?
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,550 Super Moderator
    I don't see why the holidays should even strategically be seen as test prep plan time.

    Test prep planning doesn't take that long to do anyway. You can set aside an hour on a weekday afternoon in January to do a test prep plan. Better yet, there are lots of free websites that already have pre-made plans you can follow depending on how many weeks you have left. It's pretty basic: take a pre-test, figure out what you need to concentrate on in broad strokes, decide on how long and how often you want to study and then do it.

    Also, the next SAT test date is March 2018. There are three months to March, which is plenty of time for some prep for a first or second administration. The junior can take it the second (or third) time early senior year. The next ACT date is in February, so there's a little bit shorter period of time, but a savvy junior could delay til April and still take their next administration in the early fall.

    I definitely wouldn't waste a precious holiday day off taking a practice test!
  • soxdadsoxdad Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    If you see closely - though its presented as a news analysis - its a sponsored content from a test prep organization - who needs marketing around everything (I am sure they might have written "3 things that juniors to do on a Saturday afternoon to get admission into Ivy"; "12.5 items to track on a trip to your grandparents to help you write that awesome essay" etc..etc...). Didn't surprise to see this critical analysis as well.
  • peachActuary73peachActuary73 Registered User Posts: 207 Junior Member
    Frankly, our school year is so hectic, with AP and IB classes, not to mention EC's. I'd love for a few hours during the two week break be devoted to planning for the next semester. My D also applies to summer programs, so it really would ease the stress of January/February if a some things were done over the break. When we travel a lot, I get it. But, during a staycation, why not. My D didn't even know when she was taking the SAT until a week ago. A couple schools on our list require Subject Tests that haven't been taken, that uses up the June sitting option. The May date is right before AP's. I think the advice depends on the student circumstances, how they handle stress, and how much "down time" they need. If the choice is 8 hours in front of the tube versus splitting the time with some test prep or an essay draft, hmmmn.
  • Mango2021Mango2021 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Schools should take time out of the week to prep kids for stuff like this: vacations are largely for relaxing.
  • SoccerMomGenieSoccerMomGenie Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    This is a crap article, with ridiculous advice. Putting aside whether or not it is wise to have a junior spend part of his / her holiday break prepping for the SAT or ACT (and I happen to think that unless the student is on a family holiday, there will be lots of down time and it wouldn't hurt to spend a few hours on test prep) ... the specific advice in this article is absurd, non-helpful and a time waste! Organize your notes from classes such as history, English, math and science?? The author has no clue.
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