Tips From an Irvine College Prep Tutor: 4 Things College Prep Students Should do Before Thanksgiving Break

College prep students have adjusted back to classroom activities and are well on their way to completing important tasks that will help them successfully apply to college. It’s good for students to have a list of things to complete each month, so they stay on track and don’t miss any important deadlines. Although Thanksgiving break seems worlds away, it’s not that far and students who have goals to meet by that point in the year should start thinking about it now. Whether students are focused on prepping for college entrance exams or studying for AP classes, now’s the time to be prepared – our private Irvine college prep tutors are here to get you into college.

1. AP courses

Students in 10th through 12th grade are probably taking advanced placement courses to help them apply to college and receive college credit before they even start their first day on campus. AP courses are tons of work and take up a lot of a student’s time, so it’s important that they feel comfortable they are on track to get a 3 or higher on their test the following May. If students aren’t doing as well as they could in any given AP course, they’re encouraged to join a study group or start working with a one-on-one tutor so they can study more efficiently and go over difficult concepts.

2. College entrance exams

By Thanksgiving, many students will have already taken their SAT or ACT and may even have their overall scores. Students should compare their scores with the average accepted student at several universities they plan to apply to next fall to see if they qualify. Students who would like to gain a few extra points can arrange to retake their entrance exam in the spring and start working with an expert SAT or ACT tutor to work on any weak areas. Many students gain 100 or more points just by learning how to beat each section of the exam (READ: 8 Reasons Applicants Fail to Get Into the College of their Choice).

3. Organization

Maintaining excellent organization is an essential key to success when it comes to the college prep years. Many students let their organization fall by the wayside during the first few weeks of school because their mind is still on summer break. However, if students are falling off track by Thanksgiving, they should take this as an opportunity to get back on top of things and take care of any details that need attention. This may include signing up for the SAT, improving grades in AP courses, arranging volunteer hours, scheduling a campus visit, or choosing a list of colleges to apply to.

4. Selecting colleges and universities

Sophomore and junior year are excellent times to schedule campus visits and start thinking about the best options for applications. By the end of sophomore year, students will have an idea of what their GPA will be when it comes time to apply, and they’ll have an idea of some subjects that might interest them as potential career fields but they probably won’t know exactly what it is they want to major in or specific elements of colleges that will benefit them in the long run. The best way to get an idea of the best colleges is to visit the campus in person and meet some current students. Most colleges provide opportunities for students to take official tours or simply walk around the campus at their leisure. College visits are an essential part of the application process, and Thanksgiving break is a great time to start thinking about scheduling these tours and finding a good time to visit and do further research.

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