Looking forward to celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Year’s with your family?
December is a hectic time, and your to-do list is likely longer than usual. At McGraw-Hill Education CTB, we know your to-do list probably includes studying for the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™. Even with the holiday season, you know you can’t lose important studying time.
We want to help you find a way to balance it all. For your 12 days of Christmas, we have six study tips:
1. Use What Worked for Thanksgiving
Did you use any tips from our Thanksgiving post
on being productive over the holiday? If any of those tips were successful for you, use them again.
December holidays present a similar challenge to Thanksgiving. You might travel or have family stay at your house. You probably have to contribute to cooking a big meal or baking cookies. The primary difference during December holidays is the length. Some families take time off a few days before the holiday until the New Year, so you might be away from home or have company for a couple weeks. December can also be much more demanding in terms of family traditions. Especially if you’re married, you might have to accommodate two different families – yours and your spouse’s.
Consequently, your schedule might be much more demanding than it was over the Thanksgiving holiday. Starting with tips that you know work for you, and learn from what didn’t to plan out your schedule.
2. Start the Process Early
If you typically give yourself a week to master a specific math skill, such as solving simple equations
, or two weeks to familiarize yourself with a historical event, like the Civil War
, you might consider starting a little earlier than usual.
Even if you have a regular work schedule for the first weeks of the month, your after-work schedule will probably be irregular because you’re busy with family and last-minute shopping. The College Planning Group
suggests doubling the amount of time you usually spend studying. However, even if you start a day or two in advance, you can significantly impact your studies over the holidays.
3. Get the Most Out of Travel
If you’re traveling to visit out-of-town family members, the Review Coaches at D & D Educators
recommend maximizing on your travel time. If you’re traveling with others, you can bring your laptop, study materials, and notes with you. Take time to review your materials in the car (or on the plane) – instantly making you more productive.
If you’re the kind of person who struggles to read in the car, or if you are traveling alone, e-books and digital lectures can be helpful for introducing yourself to new material. Many universities share lectures in the public domain, and you can access ones that cover topics such as American history, science, and math.
4. Set Ground Rules
Instructors at South University
advise, “Tell your family about the work you need to get done and let them know what you need. Keeping everyone informed about what is going on with your studies will give you enough space to accomplish everything you need to complete during the holidays.”
This is similar to our Thanksgiving tip to prepare your family. Not only is it good that they know you’ll have work to do over the holidays, but it is also helpful because they could help you. Family members can help around the house with meal prep or gift-wrapping. And, if you have any family members that are in high school or college, or are teachers, they might be able to help you study.
Remember to emphasize your space when you set the ground rules. If you have an office or desk that serves as your study space, be sure your family knows and respects that space. You should emphasize how important it is for you to have time to yourself to work. You’re taking a major step toward your professional future, after all. It can be hard to negotiate space like this when you have family in your home, but it will help you remain productive over the holidays.
5. Always Look Ahead
Writing for parents working with their students over the holidays, Kelsey Sheehy of US News
notes, “December is often a time to reflect on the past year, but parents should also push students to focus on what’s in front of them.”
Over the course of the past year, you’ve decided to earn your high school equivalency – and that’s amazing. You should reflect on that, and celebrate the decisions you’ve made. Focus on the task at hand and the materials for your TASC test. You can achieve your goal if you stay focused.
At the same time, you should also look forward to what you’ll be achieving in the next few months. As you continue studying and you start taking your subject tests, you are reaching your goal. Feel excited about what the New Year will bring!
6. Remember to Celebrate
The best tip is to remember that it is the holidays – and give yourself time to celebrate with your family and friends. You shouldn’t give up all of your traditions because you have studying to do. Plus, you won’t be able to focus if you do dedicate all of your time to studying.
Be sure to leave time in your schedule for your favorite traditions, and remember that the holidays are about spending time with your loved ones. The South University instructors note, “Even though you need to keep up with your studies, be sure to set enough time aside to enjoy all of the activities that go along with the holidays. Allow yourself the time off without any guilty feelings to have fun and enjoy spending this time with your family and loved ones.”
This allows you to have the best of both worlds – holiday fun with your family and friends, and productive study time. That’s a gift you deserve.
- The TASC Test Team