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Making the Most of Winter Break

While sleeping in, video games, and Netflix may be calling over the Winter Break, there is still plenty of time for college-bound students to do something productive toward their college goals.

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Have you put together a resume? If not, start now! It doesn’t have to be something fancy or even well-formatted. Simply start a list of activities, honors, and community service along with dates. This is something to build on throughout high school and will save you time three years from now when you’re completing college applications. Pulling your resume together will also help you see any holes you have and allow you to make a plan to fill them and be purposeful in your extracurricular pursuits before you run out of time at the end of the junior year.

If making a resume feels overwhelming, we have professional guidance available in our On-Demand Resume Workshop found here

If you don’t take your first semester exams until after the break, get organized for studying now, so you are set for success and your best GPA possible for your first semester!


You are now likely feeling settled in high school. It may just be a good time to start thinking about college.  Using Big Future on CollegeBoard can help you get a feel for what colleges are out there as well as the average GPA and ACT or SAT scores admitted students have. Check your own grades and see how you measure up. If you are in the 40-60% range of last year's admitted students, that's a target school.

Traveling? Stretch your legs by walking through a college campus.  Sure, it’s likely a ghost town, but you’ll get a feel for the size, location and architecture of a campus which will help you begin to decide what you like in a campus.

It's also not too early to plan for your future ACT and SAT testing. LEAP's Director, Sheri, recommends some of you test as early as this June. Find out if that's YOU by using our On-Demand Test Planning Workshop that will set you up to test at the right time for a smoother junior year. 


Analyze your PSAT scores, if you took it in October, which posted to your CollegeBoard account in early December. Can't find your scores? Our blog post shows you how to get them in a few steps. We will be unpacking these scores in January in our webinar on The 4 Action Steps You Should Take From PSAT Scores. Don't let the valuable info in the scores go to waste! 

Missed the PSAT? Register to take a LEAP Diagnostic SAT Test to see if you need to take the SAT in addition to the ACT. Grab one of our limited space slots here for free

College entrance testing must be started (and hopefully finished) in the junior year. Pull out your calendar and make a plan for when you will test by watching our On-Demand Test Planning Workshop.  LEAP recommends students plan to test at least twice on EITHER the ACT OR SAT. Are you aware 57% of students raise their score on a second attempt? BUT 95% of LEAP students raise their scores - we guarantee it! Consider your prep options that guarantee improvement

Ohio, where I live, and many other states give a FREE ACT or SAT to all juniors. The first of these possible test dates will be a mere 7 weeks after school starts back in January. Learn more here in our post with the Greater Cincinnati ACT-SAT Test Dates or contact your high school to find if or when you will test. 

Make a plan for how you will conduct your college search in the new year including making the most of spring break when you can hopefully get on college campuses, if you haven't yet. 


Scour the web for private scholarships and plan to apply for one or two over break. Fastweb is a favorite site for finding scholarships.

Even if you do a few of these, you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy some downtime with family and friends!


As you can see from the list, the junior year is the busiest for college bound students. So have a strategic plan to avoid the overwhelm which includes making the most of your less busy seasons. 


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