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How to get ahead during spring break

Spring+is+upon+us%2C+and+Spring+break+is+coming+up.+Photo+from+Creative+Commons.+
Spring is upon us, and Spring break is coming up. Photo from Creative Commons.

Spring is upon us, and Spring break is coming up. Photo from Creative Commons.

Spring is upon us, and Spring break is coming up. Photo from Creative Commons.

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Spring break is associated with travelling, parties and, most of all, escaping from school. Despite it seeming like an escape, spring break will end and school will begin. Coming back to school can be difficult, but there are multiple ways for students to get a head start on their studies over break, whether they are travelling or staying home.

1.Standardized Tests (ACT,PSAT,SAT)

PSAT and SAT testing will be held for freshmen, sophomores and juniors the Tuesday after break. Over break will be a great time to do practice tests to prepare for these tests. Make sure to time the practice test and be in a quiet area that mimics the actual test environment. Practice tests will help show you the areas that you need the most work on and overtime you can develop strategies that fit you. There are multiple test books that have practice tests along with other tips. The CollegeBoard website also offers tests. Even if you don’t have enough time to take an entire test, you can still get ahead. There are apps for each standardized test that have specific question types. If you want extra practice in a certain area, such as algebra or grammar, these are a great option. Flashcards with tips and sample questions are also available to buy. Khan Academy has prep videos also. Spring break is a great opportunity to prepare for these tests.

2. AP Exams

Similar to standardized tests, there are many resources available to study for AP exams. Study books with practice tests are a good way to assess your knowledge of a subject. It is also important to review what you have learned. Many books offer summaries and may include things that your class was not able to cover but will still appear on the exam and it is especially important to review those things. Over break you should figure out which topics you need further explaining upon so that you can get help from a teacher in advance. It is also beneficial to review class notes, homework and tests. There are many online resources as well, such as class summaries and outlines. To test how much you know, try to write out the main topics you remember studying and then see what you forgot. Not every student will take the AP exams, but for those who are, studying over spring break will allow for less cramming later.

3. Practice Essay

Many students will be applying to colleges in the following years. One of the biggest components is the essay many universities require when applying. Instead of stressing out during your last year of high school, you can take the load off by writing essays in advance. Although you will not know what the essay topic may be until applying, practicing your writing will improve the quality of your essay. Through practicing you can develop the writing style that fits you and also come up with creative ideas. Essay prompts can be found online. Spring break can be a time to watch movies all day, or it can be a time to better your writing skills.

4. Research

There is so much information pertaining to college admissions, scholarships, financial aid, programs and internships. Waiting until senior year to look into these things can be stressful and also cause you to miss out on things. Researching summer programs for high schoolers is important if you want to also get ahead during summer break. Most programs will already have had their deadlines by spring break, but you will be able to prepare for applications next year. Colleges such as the University of Michigan and Stanford have programs available for high schoolers. There are a multitude of program topics, such as computer science or writing. Many also offer financial aid. It is also important that you research colleges and what kind of programs they offer and their financial aid. It’s important to know if a school fits your criteria before you start to consider attending it. College can often be expensive, but there are many sources that provide scholarship information. Websites such as Unigo list many different scholarships that can be filtered. Scholarships are also not only for seniors or juniors; younger students can also find many opportunities. Exploring colleges and your future can be done over spring break no matter where you are.

5. Read

Students should always be reading, but spring break offers up even more reading time. Any kind of reading is beneficial, whether it be a textbook or the newspaper. It is important to find the right balance that incorporates both educational and amusing books. Reading textbooks can help you get ahead in class, and if you want to pursue a specific career you can read books pertaining to that field. For example, if you are not currently in biology but want to work as a biomedical engineer, you can read books about biology. Students can also take notes on their readings, annotate them and can look up words they do not understand. Reading is a beneficial hobby that students can pursue over spring break.
Whether you are spending spring break on the beach or on the couch, there are many different ways to get ahead in school and can lead to a less stressful future.

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How to get ahead during spring break