Students across the country are out of school for the next few weeks–the shutdown could last all the way until the summer. While many students may be tempted to increase their video gaming and snapchatting, this downtime presents a golden opportunity to make independent progress on long-term academic and extracurricular goals. Here are six ways to make that happen:
1. Prepare for the modified AP Exams. The College Board will offer at-home AP tests that are 45 minutes long and consist of only free response questions. You will be able to take the tests in a way convenient for you: on a phone, tablet, computer, or even by hand. Colleges will accept the results from the exam just as they have in years past. Get ready for the AP exams by doing self-study and practicing for free response questions. The College Board will provide updates here: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates .
2. Build your online portfolio. You can submit additional materials with your college application to showcase your unique talents. Among the types of materials you can submit: recordings of music, videos of debate and theatrical performances, short stories you have written, art pieces, and samples of films you have made. Take advantage of this down time to work on independent projects that you have not had time to focus on with the hustle and bustle of high school.
3. Get ready for the June SAT and June ACT. There is a national SAT test date on June 6th and a national ACT test date on June 13th. There will be additional test dates throughout the summer and fall. This is an excellent time to do test preparation work like practice tests, content review, and online tutoring.
4. Earn college credit through independent study and examination. Is there a college course you have always wanted to take, but have never had the time? Humanities, world history, religion, astronomy, or statistics? You can study independently and earn college credit on websites like https://study.com/ .
5. Read some good books! Students often complain that they never have time to read for fun; now you have plenty of time to work through that reading list. Online books are freely available on library websites like https://www.columbuslibrary.org/ . If you are wondering what types of books might be helpful to read in order to improve your reading comprehension for standardized tests, here is suggested list:
6. Get started on your college application essays. Over 900 colleges accept the Common Application, and they have already announced what the common application essay prompts will be: https://www.commonapp.org/apply/essay-prompts . The fall of the senior year is extremely busy with college applications, school, and extracurriculars. If you can get a head start on your college essays now, that will take a major task off of your plate.
We at BWS stand at the ready to help you with your independent work. We have tutors available to meet you online to help with the SAT and ACT, college essay preparation, and AP exam review. Please register to work with us at: