While students might feel like they are returning to the same old grind after a fun and relaxing break, January is a time for new beginnings. The New Year presents a terrific opportunity for students to evaluate themselves and their goals. Below are some great ideas for parents and students, at any level, to keep academic performance at its highest level.
Put Grades First
If grades are going to be important for your college options (they are), then they should be your first priority.
For most students, this means midterms or finals at the end of January. Take these tests seriously – they often have a huge impact on your final grade. When your teacher tells you what will be tested, give the list a quick run-through and identify the gaps in your knowledge. Start your studying there, and use any resources you have at your disposal. Remember that Biltmore Tutoring’s expert tutors are there to help!
Manage Your Time Better, and Sleep More
These two go hand-in-hand. High school students are busier now than ever, and there are only so many hours per day. Sadly, the first thing to be sacrificed during busy periods is usually sleep. This feeds a vicious cycle: a student stays up late to get work done, and then has less energy and focus the next day. The next day, the student’s work takes longer to get done due to tiredness, and the student has to stay up late again. This continues until maybe the student catches up on sleep over the weekend – if they’re lucky.
So how can you avoid this? Good time management. Students should set realistic deadlines, set aside specific times to work (with phones set on “do not disturb”), and head off to sleep at a regular bedtime. And remember – it’s totally okay to ask for a tutor’s help to keep things on track. Most parents and students find that an hour or two a week in a troublesome topic helps students understand the material, stay ahead of upcoming topics, and saves lots of frustrated hours sitting around the kitchen table. Those kids in class who always seem to get A’s and make it look easy? Surprise…they have a tutor.
Make sure you’re thinking about the end-of-the-school-year ACTs and SATs. Give yourself about eight to ten weeks to prep (even and especially if you’re taking AP tests). You want to take these tests armed with our strategies and while you’re at your sharpest academically.
Follow Your Passions – Especially in Extracurriculars
This one may sound cheesy, but it is good advice both for your own happiness and for college admissions.
Colleges do not want to see a student who dips their toes in everything, or is a member of every club and team (they call them ‘samplers’). They want a student who has authentic passions and pursues them to the max. It is better for a student’s well-being and for that college application when a student gives 100% only to those things they love.
Know Your College Prep Timeline and Evaluate Your Goals
While there is no one-size-fits-all timeline for when students should accomplish the various tasks necessary to apply to college, every student should have an idea of their short- and long-term goals.
Examples of short-term goals might include: get an A on that next Math test; achieve a rock-star score on the February ACT; help with fund-raising at a charity event this weekend.
Examples of long-term goals might include: improving a GPA; get test prep tutoring to achieve a high score on the SAT or ACT; become president of a club.
January is a great time to take a step back and think about your goals, no matter where you are in high school. Start big – as a student, where do you want to go to college, and what will it take to get there? If you don’t know where specifically you want to go, think about different tiers of schools. Once you have an idea of the grades and scores it will take to get there, set short-term goals to help you reach those big objectives. Biltmore Tutoring’s college counselors can help you set and reach those goals. Many students work with us, starting in their junior year, to find that perfect college match.
If at any point you need help deciphering a timeline or locking in on specific goals for yourself, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (828) 505-2495.
January is a time for hope. Students should be optimistic and confident that they can achieve the goals they set for themselves. Parents and students should all be honest about what they want to achieve and the work required, and everyone will be in a great position to achieve those goals. Find out more about how Biltmore Tutoring can help parents and students reduce stress and achieve more than anyone might have ever thought possible by calling us today.