Get Back into the School Routine

Reduce stress with these simple, time-saving, mood-lifting strategies.

  1. Start your day the night before. Prepare snacks and clothes and solidify the next day’s plan at night. Fill your child’s backpack with the things that they may need for school or for an after-school play date.
  2. Wake up earlier. Give yourself and your child extra time in the morning — even 15 minutes will help. Try using an alarm clock that plays soothing nature sounds or happy music to make wake-up time more fun.
  3. Send only teacher-approved items to school. Talk to your child’s teacher about classroom rules before sending in anything. Most teachers do not want children bringing in valuable items or toys that encourage aggressive play, but will likely encourage a favorite book or photograph.
  4. Create a special drop-off ritual. Come up with a memorable, loving way to say goodbye — a lipstick kiss on the hand, a secret handshake, or a special phrase that you create with your child.
  5. Set aside after-school downtime. Some children experience a meltdown at the end of the day. To avoid this, try to build in some time to unwind after school. Allow your child to visit the playground, spend time alone curled up with a book, or engage in quiet activities such as painting, building with blocks, or solitary imaginative play.
  6. Make dinnertime family time. Whenever possible, eat together as a family. Kids benefit from spontaneous dinner-table conversations. Ask your child to tell you about their day and share interesting things that happened to you. They will feel more “grown up” when they are included in this sort of conversation.
  7. Follow the school’s rules. Teachers count on families to support the classroom rules and routines — such as sick-child policies, authorized escorts, and arriving on time.
  8. Give your child undivided attention. Set aside time each day just to be with your child — even if it’s just 20 minutes — and allow no interruptions. Follow their lead and take time to observe their interests and enter their world. You will learn a lot about your child, and they will be thrilled to have this time with you.

5 Ways to Help Your Child Stay Organized

Instilling a little order in your child’s study habits will allow a lot more time for actual studying! Put these five tips into practice and help build good habits now.

  1. Set up a Designated Study Space — Make sure there’s an area of your house just for homework, with all the supplies she needs in bins and boxes. Provide plenty of space for books and set up baskets for papers so your child can find old homework to review for tests.
  2. Color Code Subjects — Buy school supplies for each subject in a different color, so your child can see at a glance which folder, notebook, and binder has to do with which subject.
  3. Create a Cubby Hole at Home — Place a crate or sturdy box near your front door so your child can keep his backpack and other school items in one spot. Teach him to put anything he needs for the next day in that place as well. That way, he’ll know where his stuff is when he’s looking for it.
  4. Use a Calendar — Give your child a date book or other portable calendar that she can bring with her to school. Teach her to write down assignments, tests, play dates, lessons, and other plans regularly. Also have her write down her classmates’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses so she can find and contact them easily.
  5. Set a Good Example — If you keep things neat and organized in your own life, your child is more likely to follow suit. If he has trouble making “to-do” lists, sit down and make one alongside him. Seeing you turn off the TV at a regular time to pay bills or even just to read will show him the importance of setting aside time to do things and sticking to it.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/getting-organized/5-ways-to-help-your-child-stay-organized

Who Does Omega Help?

  1. Omega helps students who have just begun having difficulty with a subject or combination of subjects. They may have even achieved straight “A’s” all through elementary school. Now their skill gaps are evident through falling grades and confidence.
  2. Omega helps students who have always struggled in school and don’t know why. Their grades are inconsistent and they lack confidence. They have never had their child tested and are concerned there may be a learning disability or ADHD.
  3. Omega helps students who know they have a learning disability. These students know their deficiencies and respond well to year-round tutoring. They know Omega could never fill all of the skills gaps in all of their academic areas. Our tutors complement their IEP accommodations in school.
  4. Omega helps students who want to maintain their good grades through honors classes. They are concerned that, without our extra help, they will fall behind. The Woodcock Johnson may show advanced grade placement or no skill gaps. But our goal is to ease their anxiety throughout the school year with classes as needed.
  5. Omega helps students who want to improve a letter grade. This is the average student who just needs that extra help. The student needs us to keep them focused throughout the school year with test preparation, homework help, and study skills.
  6. Omega helps students who need the instruction and/or positive reinforcement that a tutor can provide. Some children are very shy and lack self-confidence. They don’t ask questions publicly in school. They do OK with classwork, but freeze on tests and quizzes with performance anxiety.
  7. Omega helps students who need homework help because of poor study skills and time management. They need our structured homework environment and study skills instruction (time management, agenda organization, test prep, listening skills, note-taking).

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

 

6 Back-to-School Tips Every Student Can Use

Students, does it really matter how you start the school year? In a word, yes.

With that, we wanted to give you 6 quick back to school tips to help students get the year off on the right foot. If you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your semester, give these a shot.

Back to school tip #1: Get an organization system set in your mind before you start school

Systems make things easy. That’s just the way it is.

But too many students think that if they just get supplies to stay organized, Boom! it happens. They’re organized!

But it doesn’t work that way. Disorganized students rarely (like really rarely — as in flying pig rarely — or professional wrestler with a PhD rarely) get disorganized because they lack the proper tools. Disorganization almost always comes from the lack of an organizational system to use those tools.

Back to school tip #2: Make sure you have the right tools

Organization systems are important, and having the right tools make them easier to use. Do you have a tool to keep your assignments in one place? How about a tool that lets you know what due dates are coming up? What about a tool that helps you stay on track today to make sure you get all your homework done?

If you have tools for each of these, you should be set. If you’re not sure, our recommendation is to try a study skills course where we train students in how to use the right tools.

Back to school tip #3: Prepare yourself to do some work

Back to school time means it’s back to work time. Learning is work. It’s hard work. It’s not always super fun.

Prepare yourself, young grasshopper. We recommend putting a time on your calendar that you plan to study each day. This will help you mentally prep for the work ahead of you. Expect to study at least 5 days a week (sad, I know, but it’s what it will take to stay on top of your work and your stress level).

Back to school tip #4: Get in a routine

Are you waking up at the crack of noon? It’s probably time to revisit that alarm clock and start waking up before the sun starts going down. Developing any kind of routine is a great first step toward hitting that back to school grind

Back to school tip #5: Brush up on your study skills

We had to say it. Study skills impact everything about your education — grades, time spent, stress levels, advancement, and we could keep going. Check out our the essential study skills course for some free resources.

Back to school tip #6: Go to sleep

It helps. Trust me. When you get some rest, you’ll be a much happier camper when the daily homework kicks up to hyper-speed again.

If you have any other tips, we’d love to hear them on social media – let’s keep the conversation going.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://www.studyright.net/blog/6-back-to-school-tips/

7 Ways to Boost SAT Score for ADHD Students

Standardized tests aren’t fun for anyone, especially students with ADHD. From re-reading math problems to crossing out wrong answers, these seven strategies can boost your SAT score and give you a leg up on college admissions.

The SAT college admissions test is not exactly ADHD-friendly.

Most teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) would agree that sitting in a seat for four hours answering questions bearing little relevance to a teen’s life isn’t a recipe for earning a blowout score. You’ll lose interest. Your mind will wander. Worse, your ADHD mind will space out and lose focus on everything.

What to do? Use these seven tips for helping teens with ADHD maximize their efforts on the SAT test and earn the high scores that colleges want.

Talk It Out

Instead of quickly deciding whether an answer is right or wrong, tell yourself, in words, why one answer is better than another.

By talking through your reasoning, you can check your thought process and find mistakes. In fact, verbalize all questions and answers to yourself. It will ensure that your brain hasn’t skipped over important information.

Don’t Rush

It’s better to work slowly and carefully.

Questions in each SAT section get increasingly difficult as you go along, but the hard ones at the end are worth the same number of points as the easy and intermediate ones. If you rush through the test, you are likely to make errors that will cost you points on the easier questions.

Write On the Test Booklet

Not only is it OK to write on the test, you should do it. Take notes, do calculations, create an outline. When you write things down, you are more likely to get a problem correct.

Quiz Yourself

Ask yourself comprehension questions in order to narrow the choices and to move toward the right answer.

Some good comprehension questions include: “What information is the question asking me for?” or “What type of word is missing from the sentence — a thing, action, or description?” or “What opinion am I being asked to agree or disagree with?”

Re-Read Those Math Questions

This is probably the easiest thing you can do to improve your score.

Math problems in school are easy to understand, but hard to solve. SAT math questions are harder to understand, but easier to solve. The challenge is to determine what information they are asking for.

Unless you re-read the question, you may have forgotten it by the time you’re ready to answer it.

Mark Wrong Answer Choices

If you determine that an answer choice is wrong, don’t just skip it, cross it off. That way, you will remember that it’s wrong if you come back to the problem. When you do cross it off, draw a line only through the letter, not the entire answer choice. You won’t have as much erasing to do if you decide that it may be correct when you review it again.

Take a Break

If you notice you’re getting tired and lazy — you start to skip problems or cut corners — rest your brain.

Halfway through each section, put your pencil down, look away from the test, and think about anything else for two to three minutes. Remember to take these breaks in the middle of a section after you’ve answered questions. Taking a break before doing so will make it tougher to regain your focus.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://www.additudemag.com/sat-prep-high-school-study-skills-adhd/

Parent Action Plan: Middle School

Middle school is important because your child is laying the foundation in a lot of subjects and forming study habits. Developing certain skills now will make it easier for your child to adjust to the challenges of high school and college later — and will lead to more college options. Here are some things you and your child can do to make the most of this time.

  1. Help your child set goals for the year. Working toward specific goals will help your child stay motivated and focused.
  2. Review the school calendar together. Note important dates and put them in a shared online calendar or in an easy-to-view place, such as a bulletin board in your kitchen.
  3. Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child’s tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team.
  4. Talk about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school.
  5. Discuss ways to take on challenges. Encourage your child to take the most-challenging courses that he or she can handle. Tackling tough courses can give your child confidence and prepare him or her for higher-level high school classes.
  6. Come up with fun reading ideas. Look for magazines or newspapers your child may like and talk about the books you loved reading when you were your child’s age. If your family makes reading enjoyable, it can become a daily habit.
  7. Visit a nearby college together. If you live near a college, look for upcoming events on campus that are open to the community or see if the college offers classes to local children and families. Just being on a campus may get your child interested in college.
  8. Get the big picture on paying for college. It’s not too early to learn the basics of financial aid.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/for-parents/parent-action-plan-middle-school

Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips

Back to school time can be a hectic time for both you and the kiddos. These are some of our best back to school tips to help ensure this school year gets off to a great start!

1. Visit the school

Walk or ride the route your child will take and make note of school patrols, crossing guards and high traffic areas along the way. Talk to your kids about NOT talking to strangers and find out what, if any, policies your child’s school has regarding early arrivals or late pick-ups. Learn about the school’s entrance and exit policies. Then, if you can, pop in and check out what the inside of the school looks like.

2. Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher

Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and ask him or her about the preferred method of communication. (Some teachers are active on email and social media, while others prefer the phone or in-person meetings.)

3. Make homework a priority

Make homework time a daily habit. Find a quiet and consistent place at home where your child can complete his or her homework. If your child is having difficulty with his or her homework, make an appointment with the teacher sooner rather than later.

4. Prepare a study area

Set up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Remove distractions. Make it clear that education is a top priority in your family: show interest and praise your child’s work.

5. Take charge of TV time 

Limit the time that you let your child watch TV, and when you do decide to do TV time, make it a family affair. Talk together about what you see and ask questions after the show ends.

6. Get everyone to bed on time

During the summer, children aren’t always on a schedule, which is understandable. But, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your kids get back on track sleep-wise by having them go to bed earlier and wake up earlier at least a week in advance of when school actually starts.

7. Make healthy meals

Let’s face it – no one can concentrate when they’re hungry. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. Fix nutritious meals at home, and, if you need extra help, find out if your family qualifies for any child nutrition programs, like the National School Lunch Program.

8. Get a check up

It’s a good idea to take your child in for a physical and an eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations, and you may be asked to provide paperwork showing that your child has all the necessary shots and vaccines. So, check your state’s immunization requirements. And, always keep your own copies of any medical records.

9. Plan to read with your child everyday

Make a plan to read with your child for 20 minutes every day. Your example reinforces the importance of literacy, and reading lets you and your child explore new worlds of fun and adventure together.

 

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://blog.ed.gov/2016/08/9-back-to-school-pro-tips/

How to Handle Back-to-School Anxiety

 

Feelings of anxiety are perfectly normal and to be expected during times of transition. While many people think of separation anxiety as a problem confined to toddlers and preschoolers, I also see it in elementary and middle school kids. And back-to-school anxiety can occur clear through high school!

Some kids are more hard-wired for anxious thoughts and feelings than others. While some level of anxiety affects most people, high levels of anxiety can be disruptive to both the child and the whole family.

Know the Signs
Some worries are to be expected. It’s not easy to walk into a new classroom with a new teacher and start from scratch every single year. Watch for these sneaky symptoms of anxiety as the new school year begins:

  • changes in eating habits
  • sleep disturbance
  • clingy behavior
  • meltdowns or tantrums
  • nail biting, hair twirling, skin picking
  • headaches or stomach pains
  • avoiding normal daily activities
  • increased irritability
  • increased crying
  • social isolation

If your child exhibits some of these symptoms for more than two weeks, get an evaluation. Many children can work through back-to-school anxiety independently, but when anxiety interferes with normal daily living, kids need help.

How to Deal with Back-to-School Anxiety
Consistency and routines are always a great place to start when it comes to squashing those back-to-school worries! Try some of these strategies to help your child ease into the new school year:

Attend school (and be early!). While it’s perfectly normal to have worries when starting a new school year, it’s very important to attend school each day. A huge meltdown might have you wondering if you should simply try another day, but avoidance of school will only increase and reinforce your child’s anxiety. Missing school because of anxiety robs your child of the chance to gain mastery, make friends, enjoy a successful school day and develop a relationship with the teacher.

Get back to basics. It’s very difficult to feel calm, confident and in control when you are starving or exhausted. Anxiety can cause kids to struggle with sleep and eat a little less. This means that parents have to stay on top of those childhood basics.

Set an earlier bedtime for the entire family, make sure each day includes plenty of downtime, and provide balanced meals and nutritious snacks with plenty of time to eat. Eating on the run is stressful for kids.

Allow extra time in the mornings. Anxious children don’t like to be late, nor do they enjoy being rushed. Now that you’ve pushed that bedtime up, your child should be able to wake with plenty of time to eat, get dressed and get ready for the day.

Create healthy nighttime routines to make the mornings easier. Choosing clothes at night, packing snacks and filling water bottles and packing the backpack and placing it by the door are all time savers for anxious kids.

Avoid blanket statements. When kids express worries about school, it’s tempting to respond with generic statements such as, “Don’t worry about it!” or “You’ll love it!” These statements rarely provide reassurance for worriers. A better tactic is to address specific worries with your child.

When parents take the time to listen and help children come up with strategies to solve problems, kids feel more confident. If your child is worried about where to sit at lunch, for example, have him draw a map of the lunchroom and discuss possibilities.

Role-play. The best way to gain mastery over worries is to practice taking control of worrisome situations. Have your child create a list of school-related worries and act out different ways to solve the problems. I like to have kids try out two or three solutions per problem so that they always have a back-up plan.

Watch your words. Kids look to their parents for clues. If you appear overwhelmed and anxious on the first day of school, your child is likely to follow your lead.

It’s perfectly natural for parents to have worries at the beginning of the school year. Instead of hyper-focusing on the potential negatives or faking it, take the time to talk about feelings and worries as a family. When families work through their feelings together, they empower one another.

Back-to-school anxiety can be stressful for families. More often than not, the anxiety decreases as the child adjusts to the new school year. If the anxiety persists, seek help. It’s far better to learn to manage anxious feelings than to suffer in silence and struggle through the school year.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2016/08/cope-back-school-anxiety/

Understanding Introverted Students

In any classroom today about 10 students likely are introverts, and while the trait has gotten a lot more attention lately, experts say educators often aren’t doing enough to help those students succeed and some policies are making school unnecessarily challenging for them.

Marsha Pinto, a 21-year-old advocate for introverts, says she was quiet as a middle school student, sat in the back of the classroom and liked to read rather than socialize, though she worked hard.

“But I had one teacher in sixth grade who insisted I speak up loudly and threatened me with lower grades if I didn’t participate,” she says. “When I was bullied by some other girls, she even claimed that it was my fault for being so quiet.”

Pinto’s story could be repeated by others, though often the problems introverts face are more subtle―when educators reward extroverts for being outspoken leaders, promote social interaction, and make groupwork the norm even though some students thrive when they are working alone. “Middle school was very hard for me,” says Pinto. “For a lot of reasons it is difficult for quiet students, and the classroom structure itself is sometimes one of them.”

About the Quiet Kids

About a third of us are introverts, more than half because of genetics, sometimes from upbringing, and sometimes from “random events that are hard to quantify,” according to John Zewlenski, a psychology professor at Carleton College who has studied introversion. Traumatic events could cause it, or being thrust into a restrained role with family or friends.

Psychologist Carl Jung coined the term in 1920, but experts since have more clearly defined it. They’ve seen its unique brain patterns and, to the relief of introverts, have distinguished it from shyness, a crippling anxiety over social interaction. Linda Silverman, director of the Gifted Development Center in Denver and author of Upside-Down Brilliance, says extroverts get energy primarily from others while introverts can become overloaded or drained by the outside world, and sometimes just don’t need or care about it.

“Parents and teachers aren’t working overtime turning extroverts into introverts,” Silverman says, “but they do try to remake introverts into extroverts. And they don’t need to.”

And we shouldn’t assume they will always struggle, experts say. Research shows introverts more readily regulate impulsive responses and avoid risks, may be able to think more quickly, concretely and creatively and get better grades (more Merit Scholars are introverted). Some research shows they are more attractive to others and have better relationships. They may even live longer.

“Introverts think before they act, digest information thoroughly, stay on task longer, give up less easily, and work more accurately,” says Susan Cain one of the leading introvert experts and advocates. Teachers should know (and can remind their quiet students) that the successful ranks of introverts include Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and several tech company giants such as Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg, along with celebrities like Michael Jordan, Christina Aguilera, and even Merryl Streep.

Zelenski’s research shows, however, that while introverts aren’t sad, with more engagement they could refine social skills (they often absorb themselves by observation and reflection) and gather more confidence and happiness, which he’s convinced they experience less than extroverts. Children also change, and over time introverts may become more interested in socializing or even leadership roles and regret not having developed those skills.

“They’ll feel great when they join in, and they’ll only do it out in the world,” says Cain. “But they need to engage on their own terms. So while they shouldn’t be sheltered them from difficult social situations, they should know that we understand and sympathize and want to help.” She and other experts say that introverts may need to be “nudged” by educators, and encouraged to participate and not fear making mistakes.

In the School

Change is often difficult for them, and preparation is key. It might be helpful if introverted students come in before the opening day, and are clear about plans for changes in the schedule or events like a field trips. Classes where rules are enforced about “no putdowns” will be easier for them.

Teachers should understand that introverts are not disinterested, says Silverman, although they have to learn how to advocate for themselves. Ask them if they want strategies for speaking up during class or seeking help later.

“Extroverts think out loud, while introverts mentally rehearse everything before they say it―and wish everyone else would,” says Silverman. “Classrooms don’t operate that way.”

Collaboration is a good skill to learn and will be required later in school and work, says child development expert Jennifer Miller, but by “hanging back to observe social situations” introverted children may in their own way learn the social and emotional skills that educators are now stressing. So, they may understand the importance of collaboration and do it later as they get more mature and figure out their own patterns for it.

Introverts also tend to be more self-aware, which leads to empathy and self-management, and they make responsible decisions because they listen well, are creative thinkers, and reflect and consider consequences, she says.

“When you call on an introvert,” says Silverman, “you always hear a pregnant pause while he or she rehearses the perfect pearl to share with the class.”

In group projects, teachers should perhaps encourage them to participate, but look for other options if possible and not expect them to change dramatically and become very talkative nor should they assess them unfairly if they participate less verbally.

As visual learners they can picture things and may synthesize and learn complex concepts easily through their own problem-solving methods, but struggle with directions, memorization, easy skills, and details, Silverman says. (So, for instance, they may figure out how to learn whole words rather than phonics.)

They should write down ideas before a brainstorming session, take notes during a discussion, and get extra time for responses when possible. Dyads, where they bounce ideas off another student before a discussion openly, might help. (It is best to correct or praise them privately too, Silverman says.)

Elementary school teachers are more likely to be extroverts, and high school teachers are more likely introverts, Silverman says. “Colleges are havens for introverts, and they often excel with all the introverted professors,” she says. “Introverts may appear smarter as they get older.”

Silverman says teachers should envision this scenario to help them understand:

Imagine that a group of teachers has been divided into introverts and extroverts and given a task to do with markers on butcher paper in a set time limit. The extroverts immediately start drawing on the butcher paper while they talk and decide exactly what they want the finished product to look like. We are doers—we process actively. The introverts are very quiet at first, thinking about the task, then they talk about it together and plan how to execute it. No marks are made on the butcher paper until around 15 minutes before the time is up. That’s the difference between action and reflection.

She also is fond of recalling a story a teacher told her after one of her lectures.

“Her middle school class was involved in small group projects and one group really wanted to hear the ideas of a particular student who was creative but introverted. She overheard one of them excitedly tell the boy: ‘We really need your input on this. Think about it and get back to us.’”

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: http://www.educationworld.com/quiet-consideration-understanding-introverted-students-and-how-best-engage-them

3 Reasons to Register for the Earliest SAT, ACT Exams

Your junior year of high school can easily become the Year of College Preparation. From standardized test review to building a strong resume of extracurriculars and challenging classes to preliminary research into colleges and majors, you will have many demands on your time.

One way to buy yourself a bit of breathing room is to register for the earliest SAT or ACT test date. For the SAT, the first available exam session is August 26, with a regular registration deadline of July 28. The first ACT test date is September 9, with August 4 as the regular registration deadline.

Remember that you can take each test more than once, so registering for an early session does not preclude you from retaking the exam later. Here are three reasons to register for the first SAT or ACT of the school year.

1. The first test can serve as a baseline: Most SAT and ACT study plans strongly suggest completing a practice test early in the preparation process. While there is always a chance that the results will be discouraging, these can help you build a targeted review strategy.

However, practice exams only go so far in replicating the stress of your SAT or ACT test date. Gaining access to an exam center early in the process will help you paint a very realistic picture of your readiness.

If you are already scoring above your target result, then you have removed one challenge from your junior year. This will leave you with more time to focus on other tasks. 

If you do not score as well as you had hoped, you will gain insight into where to focus your efforts. As you take later practice tests, you will be able to measure yourself against your first exam score. Your study plan should produce measurable results – if you are not improving, you will also have time to change your plan or seek extra help.

2. The first test can free you from undue stress: Summer is rarely a full rest period for the modern high school student. Whether you are tackling an Advanced Placement reading list, a summer internship or part-time summer employment, you are unlikely to be sitting at home passing time.

Even so, the lack of formal school work often means that summer provides an opportunity for focused, in-depth study. Many prep plans suggest devoting an hour a day to SAT or ACT review, spread out over the course of several months. “Slow and steady” can be a great study tactic, but it can also be a constant drain on your resources.

The unfortunate truth is that your junior year of high school will be one of multiple competing responsibilities. Getting your SAT or ACT exam out of the way early can help you remove a significant source of stress, especially if you must also manage challenging coursework and demanding extracurriculars.

3. The first test can influence your coursework: Even if you take the earliest SAT or ACT possible and do poorly, you will have a head start on preparing for a later exam date. As a bonus, many of the skills you need for these standardized tests are transferable to high school coursework, so you will also be getting a head start on your classes.

Taking the SAT or ACT early can likewise help you refine your choice of courses for the remainder of high school. If, for example, you fared poorly on the reading portion of either exam, you will have time to take a literature-focused elective or find online classes, if no electives are applicable to your goals. Do not choose classes just to maximize your exam scores, but do use the SAT and ACT to help identify courses that will further your education.

Reading and writing are critical skills for success in college – and life beyond school. The math on these exams maps less explicitly to real-world skills, but it is very good for developing the mathematical reasoning essential for success in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

There are several potential advantages to taking the SAT or ACT at your earliest opportunity. When deciding on a test date, remember to weigh the benefits of a head start against the cost of study time.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

Source: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/2017-07-10/3-reasons-to-register-for-the-earliest-sat-act-exams