Here’s How to Prepare for College After a Crazy School Year


2020 was hard. It presented challenges for every person. But, it’s difficult to wrap our heads around the obstacles students faced. Schools completely closed, some re-opened, others were virtual, and many operated in a hybrid environment. Many changed their learning platform multiple times. 

Nearly all of the activities that kids expect to participate in were heavily modified or postponed altogether. It will likely be years before we truly understand the impact the pandemic had on learning. 

Despite all of the problems, students and teachers pushed forward. Now, as the world re-opens, many kids are preparing for their final year of high school or gearing up for the first semester of their freshman year in the fall. 

Schools are returning to “normal” class schedules and activities, but COVID has left a permanent mark on the college experience. 

Colleges and universities are waving standardized test requirements, which have been a staple of the admissions process for decades. 

Last year, when many colleges moved to online learning, a significant number of students decided to take a gap year. Now, many of them are planning to enroll, creating a more competitive environment. 

Preparation for college is as important as it has ever been. More emphasis is placed on essay writing. And mock testing is still a major part of getting ready for college, especially if a child can score well on exams. 

There’s a lot to think about for your child’s college future. We’re here to walk you through some of the most important things to keep in mind. 

Mapping Out the Road to College 

Simply preparing for college is a lot of work. You have application deadlines, scholarship requirements to meet, campus visits, and interviews.  

On top of everything, you’re still working, and your kids most likely have many other activities outside of school (which is a good thing for the college application!). 

Even if you have experience applying for college and scholarships, it can be challenging to help your child navigate college preparation. 

Our team understands the college admissions process. We know what it takes to get your child’s application noticed. And we can help you walk through the journey by managing deadlines, keeping track of applications, and submitting information at the right time. 

We can map out the college prep journey for you. That’s one less thing you and your child have to worry about. 

Why Mock Test Prep is Still Important 

Many schools have moved to test-optional applications, meaning they will not require a standardized test score on an application. 

This trend began before the pandemic but is accelerated by many students’ difficult learning environment. Now, some of the top universities in the country are waving test requirements. 

Recently, the University of North Carolina voted to extend their test-optional requirements into 2022, so it appears schools will keep this policy in place, at least temporarily. 

Many students are likely celebrating the fact that they don’t need to take these hours-long tests, but it’s not time to dismiss the mock exams just yet. 

Despite the shift away from testing, your child will still find value in taking mock tests. 

A mock test can determine whether they should take the SAT or ACT. Even if a school is test-optional, you should still submit good scores to enhance the application. 

Mock tests can also be a simulation for college testing environments. Most high school kids do not sit through a timed test in the classroom. Putting them through a timed scenario will better equip them for test-taking at a higher level. 

College Prep Is Not a Solo Journey 

College applications are challenging during normal times and even more so after a school year like we just experienced. Many kids are re-thinking what they want out of a college experience. 

The busyness of life prevents many kids and parents from sitting down and mapping out the college prep experience. 

While there is some great info online (and some not-so-great information), using Google as a guide is not the most reliable method to plan for college.  

Sending your child to school is an investment. It costs time, money, and energy for you and your child. By working together, we can take much of the stress from your plate while setting up your kids for success during their college experience. 

What you do leading up to their first year can be a major determinant in their path as they go through school. 

So reach out to us. Let’s talk about your child’s goals and needs. And if we can help take some of the burdens off your shoulders, we’ll be glad to work on your college road map.