My Action Plan for College

Helping students and families to create a personalized action plan for college.

Students and Families,

As we all embrace the concept of home-based learning, I wanted to share some ideas that may be beneficial toward your near-term and long-term educational goals:


Time Management
I would strongly recommend that each student come up with a reasonable schedule of learning activities for the school week, given that many schools will be out of class-based sessions for a few weeks.  Please also schedule timed "breaks" when you could walk around, get a snack, take a break from your screens.  many eye doctors suggest a "screen break" of at least two to three minutes for every half-hour on a screen-oriented device.

Many students in the high school range are able to stay focused on a learning subject for about 30-45 minutes at a time (including screen time and conventional learning approaches), with some students able to do so for about 45-60 minutes without a break.  Play to your strengths and be realistic.  Quality of one's learning focus = more important than quantity of time spent.


Study Skills
Now would represent a fantastic opportunity to re-visit your class-based notes for each subject, with a goal that you may create a "learning summary" of the salient ideas that have been covered thus far for each course.  A realistic goal would be: take one subject per day, and do a "deep-dive" of reviewing and summarizing your notes to date for this school year (or for this semester, as appropriate).


Academic Readiness
Try to engage in learning projects by approaching those assignments that would be the most readily "achievable" first, as that will build momentum and self-confidence.  Pace yourself so that you are setting both daily and weekly goals that are both realistic and helpful in nature.


Test Preparation
For those students preparing for the SAT, The College Board's (authors of the test itself) website contains links to practice tests and related learning materials that would be of benefit.  If you are able to integrate one practice section (plus analysis of that section) per week into your study schedule, then that would represent an excellent learning foundation upon which to build.  There are four sections for each SAT, so that would mean that in any given week, you could choose any one of the following sections to practice: reading comprehension, grammar, math without calculator, math with calculator.  Essentially, you would cover a full-length practice test over the course of each four-week cycle.


For those students preparing for the ACT, the ACT offers a free practice test through the following link:


I would advise a similar course of action for the ACT as that recommended for the SAT: integrate one practice section (plus analysis of that section) per week into your study schedule, as that would represent an excellent learning foundation upon which to build.  There are four sections for each ACT, so that would mean that in any given week, you could choose any one of the following sections to practice: grammar, math, reading comprehension, and science.  Essentially, you would cover a full-length practice test over the course of each four-week cycle.

Also, I will be resuming the "Thesaurus Thursday" and "Lexicon Builder" e-mails for those students who would be interested in those daily & weekly practice tools.


College Planning
In 2019, I sent a "college profile" document to each member of our MAP for College Class of 2021 cohort.  Please send me an e-mail if you would be interested in receiving this learning tool.

Please feel free to save and edit your own version of this document for your own personal use (as it is proprietary to our business, because it is a profile template that I created many years ago).  If you have a handful of prospective colleges that you are considering, then I would recommend conducting in-depth research about one college at a time, with a goal of gathering "college profile" information for at least one college per week between now and the end of April, so that by April 30th, you would prospectively have a college profile "preview" of a half-dozen schools.  You would be welcome to share your college profiles with me via e-mail at any time, and we could also discuss the merits of whether each school would fit into your "reach" category, or your "target" echelon. 

My philosophy = try not to add "safeties" to your list; instead, increase your realistic "target" schools accordingly.  We can certainly discuss this outlook in more detail based on your specific needs.

  • Please feel free to let me know if there are specific topics that you would like me to address through learning videos and tutorials.

Thank you, and stay safe!

Ernest Minelli     ernest@mapforcollege.com