Girl relaxes during her senior slump

Avoiding the Senior Slump

College acceptances are beginning to arrive, which can bring great joy, and then… senior slump.


Every year, teachers complain that seniors are getting a little “too relaxed.” While seniors deserve to enjoy their last semester, it’s how relaxed they sometimes become that can be a problem! Most college acceptances are contingent upon grades staying respectable through to the bitter end of high school. And students have a lot of other responsibilities to think about as well.


So, what should seniors be thinking about in their last semester of high school?


  1. Staying focused on school work–it’s about learning and preparing for college, not just keeping grades up! (Parents: if grades are falling dangerously low, or your student is procrastinating on major projects, intervene.)
  2. Completing any leftover college application requirements: send first semester transcripts to colleges still considering applications.
  3. Applying for scholarships and submitting financial aid forms, as well as reviewing financial aid rewards. Students should notify the financial aid office at their colleges regarding outside grants or scholarships.
  4. Planning for a summer job or internship–never hurts to have some money saved for sundries freshman year.
  5. Enjoying the last semester of high school and living at home. (Parents–make the most of it. That bedroom will be all too tidy and all too quiet all too soon.)


And here is some advice from a recent high school graduate who is now at Tufts University: “Getting in is not the end; it’s the beginning.”


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Students study for midterms in Acton and Concord Massachusetts with the help of Open Door Education

10 Tips For Midterm Exams

Midterms are right around the corner. Although most students consider them a tough hurdle, they are also an opportunity. A strong score on a midterm can improve a semester grade. The best way to approach them is to have a plan—and some help.


Open Door tutors, all experts in various subjects, are available to help create study plans, organize and review materials, and fill in gaps. Students can also take independent steps, and here are 10.


Start early

Review notes, tests, and quizzes, and adapt your study guide, or create one if the teacher hasn’t provided one.  


Create a schedule

Split classes and material into manageable chunks on a calendar. Block out reasonable amounts of time for each subject until the tests. Usually, 90 minutes is a good limit for a study session on one subject.


Eliminate distractions

Find a quiet spot and put your phone out of sight. Limiting the distractions will help you make the best of the time you spend studying, by allowing you to give 100% of your attention to the subject at hand.


Join or put together a study group

Work with classmates who are equally motivated to fill in gaps and quiz one another. Sharing and comparing notes and insights is an effective way to review the material.


Take study breaks

Healthy eating, exercise, and plenty of sleep are all important. Self care and balance keep the brain working well.


Seek help

Early on, talk to teachers about the more difficult topics; the in-class review will be enriched. Need additional support? Contact Open Door. Getting a fresh perspective or an alternative explanation from someone other than your teacher may help difficult concepts click.


Use multiple senses

Transfer condensed outlines to 5×7 flashcards; rewriting materials and details helps to create additional mental synapses. Create mnemonic devices and speak them out loud. Close your eyes and visualize outlines, formulas, or facts.


Teach the material to others

Nothing solidifies knowledge better than having to explain it to someone else. Teach your parents. They are always asking for more details about what is going on at school, aren’t they?


Practice problems

Take the time to outline the answers to questions on the teacher’s study guide.


Get plenty of rest the night before

A good night’s sleep the night before the test will do wonders for your mental state and physical well-being.


Finally, plan a small reward after each midterm, like one of your guilty pleasures like a Netflix show—not a binge—or a yummy coffee concoction. Having one of your favorite things to look forward to each day makes the week of tests seem less dreadful!


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