Catch-Up on Your Studies This Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is an opportunity to rest and relax as well as spend time with family and friends. However, some students who are in their college application process need some of this time to catch up on important materials. Some students will have the entire week off, while some school districts only offer Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as a holiday (READ: “7 Tips For Studying While Traveling“).


Students sometimes find themselves staying up late, cramming the night before a big exam, or frantically writing papers just before they are due. Many students find that they can use the Thanksgiving holiday to get caught up. Here are the top five ways to get caught up over Thanksgiving without giving up valued family time:

One – Create an outline

Students who are either juniors or seniors have probably already made a study outline at the beginning of the school year, however, now that the school year is nearly half over, many students find that they have veered away from their timeline or have forgotten it altogether. Students can take one hour out of their holiday and create an outline for success that will tell them which days they need to study which subjects. Just 60 minutes of organization can be very helpful when students return to school the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Two – Work on test prep

Seniors have already had their last chance to take their SAT or ACT prior to sending in college applications, however, many juniors are taking the ACT or the SAT in December or February. This week may be a good time to spend a few hours reviewing test prep with your Orange County private tutor. For students who have the entire week off, spending three or four hours on Monday or Tuesday can be very beneficial. For example, Monday would be a good time to take an entire full length practice test and email your tutor your practice score (READ: “Cracking the ACT Science Section“). Most students don’t have time to do a full length test during the week but it’s important for the tutor to have a practice score to help expedite their students’ progress. Students who don’t have the entire week off may consider doing a couple of sections instead of an entire test. Students with less time should consider doing one of each section and adding the scores up to get a possible composite.

Three – Get organized for AP exams

Although it doesn’t seem like it, the May AP exams are not that far away. AP students are well into their classes at this point and should have an idea of how difficult the material is. Students who are on the trimester system will also be getting their second trimester grade very soon. It is a good idea for students to use the Thanksgiving holiday to buy test prep books as it only takes a few minutes to order them online and have them delivered to their homes. If students order the books now, they will have a chance to go over a few of the practice prompts or practice exams prior to going back to school. Students who are taking AP classes without the assistance of a tutor should assess whether or not they can still do this all the way until May. If it’s necessary to call a tutor, there’s still plenty of time to arrange for a January study session.

Four – Work on extracurricular activities

Juniors and seniors who are short on volunteer hours needed for graduation can spend some of this time volunteering (READ: “Extra Curricular Activities For Your College Resume“). Almost every charitable organization needs help serving food to families in need on Thanksgiving Day. There are also charitable organizations that need help throughout the end of December and so it’s a good time to spend an hour or two doing an Internet search on or another reputable volunteer website.

Five – Rest is also important

Some students may find that the best thing they can do to enhance the quality of their schoolwork is to simply rest and relax. Many college prep students spend an insane amount of hours per week preparing for college and simply need a break.  If this sounds familiar, just enjoy the week. Take the five or seven days and use it to recharge. Get eight or nine hours of sleep and, if you live in California, enjoy the outdoors. Eat three regular, healthy meals per day and get some exercise. Some students will find that they go back to school on Monday feeling much better about the remainder of the year. Even students who wish they had more of a break can be reassured that the winter holiday is not far away.


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