Back when I was in school, teachers sometimes liked to call the Middle Ages the Dark Ages. Perhaps a misnomer, the term Dark Ages was meant to suggest that during the Middle Ages—the period in Western History between Antiquity (Greeks and Romans) and the Renaissance—nothing very interesting happened as far as historians were concerned. Hence, it was dark.
By analogy, the long period in the junior year sandwiched between Oct PSATs and winter/spring SATs/ACTs might well be called the Dark Ages of the Junior year. I see it happen to well-intentioned, high-achieving students every year: not a lot going on in terms of standardized test prep. All the math, grammar, and vocab they began studying for PSATs fades to black really fast. You know how it goes: you have really good intentions to get ahead of the curve by studying a little bit whenever you have time. But that free time never comes, or when it does, you quickly forget your test prep intentions and engage in something else a little more, well, entertaining.
At CollegePrepExpress, we’re trying to shed light on the Dark Ages of Junior Year and help our students gain a powerful competitive edge over students who will descend into the darkness of the standardized test prep vacation abyss. Those who muster a little more energy and old-fashioned discipline than the rest of the juniors in the country by carving out a half hour to 45 min min a night between November and February—the long months of the so-called Dark Ages of Junior Year—will leave the competition behind when the SATs and ACTs roll around again in early 2017.
In order to help you help your yourselves, we’ve designed two (one for SAT prep, one for ACT prep) daily test-prep checklists to help manage your daily/nightly work. They are available for immediate download and use from the private Download section of our website. Students who USE these bi-weekly checklists (i.e., each checklist takes you through two weeks of nightly test-prep to-do’s) will alternate nights of practice tests and review. Each time you complete a one- or two-week cycle (depending on the pace you chose), you will have taken a full-length SAT or full-lenght ACTs and studied at least several hours worth of material covered on each exam. It’s a good plan to help you dust the competition and get into the college of your choice. Don’t ever say we didn’t tell you how to do it! (And if you read this far into the post and you’d like your very own copy of these checklists, simply email me, Dr. Yo, and request one or the other or both, and I will make sure you get it/them.)
So go ahead and, pardon the anachronism, shine a flashlight on the Dark Ages of Junior Year. All it takes is a half hour to 45 minutes a night! You’ll be so glad you invested the time.