So perhaps you’ve heard the news of the cancellation of the April ACT and May SAT in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. And perhaps you’re wondering what you should do; should you reschedule and keep studying? And how can you make studying from home count?
Well first, it’s important to keep in mind that currently both tests will be offered in June: the SAT on June 6th and the ACT the following weekend on June 13th. Also, the SAT is offered on August 24th. But whether you’re thinking about taking either test in June or August, you might also be thinking that June & August sure are far away, especially given the fact that maybe you were prepped and ready for the March SAT or nearly prepped and ready for the April ACT.
If you have prepped for the March test and are feeling like you wasted all that time:
All You Need to Do is Maintain
Fear not! If you are prepped and ready right now, then all you have to do is maintain! And when you are reviewing topics, you spend less time and effort than you did the first time around.
Let’s say for example that you were to perform in a school play in a few weeks. Well, it took you some considerable time and effort to memorize all your lines and then even longer to learn all your stage blocking. Then you learn that your scheduled performance has been delayed!
If you revisit your script and practice your lines, even in your living room, and practice when and where you’re supposed to enter and exit, then you’ll be ready to perform when your play is rescheduled. If, on the other hand, you put your script away and don’t think about it for 3 to 5 weeks, then when you pick it back up again you will be very close to starting all over again!
If You Weren’t Prepped Anyway…
If you weren’t ready anyway, then 3 months is the perfect amount of time to prepare. Students often report that they intended to spend more time prepping than they actually spent because of time constraints – school, extracurricular, etc. But over the next few weeks, you may find yourself with a bit more time on your hands than usual. Not to mention, prep is best when you can devote focused time over a significant period; this allows you time to digest the concepts and to let the material sink in.
Prep is best when you can devote focused time over a significant period; this allows you time to digest the concepts and to let the material sink in.
How to Move Forward
Since we have about 11 weeks before the June SAT, we’re not suggesting that you spend multiple hours every day prepping for the test. Instead, we’re suggesting that you thoughtfully and consciously set time aside to prepare. Maybe it’s one hour a couple of times a week. Or maybe you notice that there are certain days of the week where you have a bit more time than others. It’s important to keep moving forward and to find some normalcy through this.
These next few weeks will probably be different than what most of us know as our daily routine, so pay attention. When do you have a bit more time or a bit more energy? How can you keep the momentum that you have without working too much or for too long? You do not want to burn out. You want to stay fresh.
How can you keep the momentum that you have without working too much or for too long?
Tips for Studying at Home
Staying fresh and avoiding burnout when your normal routine is completely shot requires just one thing: a new routine! Online school has many pros, but it’s easy to get distracted or feel stuck when you’re at home all day. It’s helpful to establish a regular routine to keep your day moving smoothly.
Get dressed every morning.
Getting dressed will help you get out of “rest mode” and into “work mode.” Additionally, consider setting an alarm and getting up at a reasonable (before-noon) hour. Instituting semi-normal morning routines like setting an alarm and getting dressed can help you feel like you have a day to take on, even if you have no plans.
Set study hours.
Online classes mean you can study at 3 AM or 3 PM. But if you study at random, it can feel like you never get a break. Try and set some study hours that work for you and stick to them. When you study, stay focused. When you’re on a break, enjoy it.
Limit the snacks.
When you’re studying at home all day, the pantry is close. Too close. Try and maintain boundaries and eat regular meals; you’ll feel better and your wallet (and clothes) will thank you.
Get some exercise.
If you can, take a walk to get some air (practicing social distancing, of course). If you can’t leave the house, find an exercise video on YouTube or do a few stretches in your room. Just MOVING can help you feel less cooped up and get the blood flowing to your brain again!
If you’re looking for new online learning programs for studying for the ACT and SAT and haven’t tried our courses yet, it’s the perfect time to give them a go. Both our ACT and SAT courses are free for the rest of the school year and contain plenty of practice problems to keep you busy, as well as helpful study schedules and strategy guides.
Best of luck as you find your new “normal.” This season will not last forever!