Research all NYC schools

Research Now

Tips to Ace Online Learning

October 19, 2020 Jacob Brucker

With the coronavirus pandemic ridding us of in-person learning this past spring and continuing to disrupt learning in this new school year, it is important that we adapt to this new period of online learning. While this is not ideal for us students, and most of us would much rather prefer learning in the classroom, there are ways that can make the best of it and perform at a high level that we normally would. Here are three tips to ace your online learning and still make the most of your experience. 


1. Manage Your Time Well 


While at home, some of us have more time on our hands than normal life. We are not in school nor doing activities or sports all day but living a more stagnant and passive lifestyle. This has gradually become our new normal, and it is easy to get lost in the void of time binge-watching shows or playing video games while sitting at home all day. With all this free time, however, it is critical that you prioritize school work before anything else. Make a schedule for your day. Plan out periods of free time and periods solely devoted to your schoolwork so that you are not distracted by anything else. Keep a checklist of all the academic assignments you need to complete for that day. Once you check all of them off, you will have more time to pursue your other passions. This schedule and checklist enabled me to stay on top of my work despite learning virtually. 


2. Stay Connected with Teachers and Students


At home, we students do not get much interactive learning, and it is easy to drift away from our teachers and fellow students because we are not physically with them. Yet, it is imperative to stay connected with them. If you have questions or concerns about assignments, take advantage of the extra help periods teachers offer or email them to set up a time to talk. If they are not available, call a fellow student and ask them for guidance. They can help push you in the right direction when you are struggling. Do not feel that you have to carry the burden yourself. If you try to do it all alone during this unpredictable and stressful time, it will be harder to succeed. Many of my classmates became ghosts at our virtual classes, and they were the ones whose grades suffered the most. Stay connected! 


3. Remain Active and Establish a Routine 


While not facing a global pandemic, we as students are used to a normal, active lifestyle, and many of us thrive in it. Even now, it is essential to stay busy because having too much free time can cause us to procrastinate, and our academic performance can suffer as a result. When I have more time on my hands, I often find myself pushing homework off and waiting until the last minute. But when I am busy, I get my homework done right away and move onto the next task. Though we are not physically active, we can remain mentally active by exploring online programs in areas of interest, joining an organization we are passionate about, and reading or researching subjects that intrigue us. Finding time to spend exercising and getting fresh air can also help reset the mind and allow us to focus better. If you can establish a routine where you remain active at home, you can succeed with learning online. 


With these steps, you should be on the right track to power through this challenging learning environment and even come out with skills that will help you during in-person instruction. Though it can be hard at times, know that you are not alone and that you are capable of achieving success even when separated from your teachers and fellow students. You got this.


Jacob Brucker is a senior at Xavier High School in NYC. He is an editor of the school newspaper Xavier Review, loves to spend time outdoors, and enjoys journalistic writing. 

Join to NYCMentors.org

Join today and have a high school mentor guide your child through their middle school years

Join Now

Other articles

  • img

    A Guide to Various Public High School Admissions Processes

    • November 19, 2022
    • Sereia Sarumida

    8th graders across the city will be applying to some of the city’s 700+ public high school programs by the December 1st application deadline this year. But with all the different types of high schools using various admissions methods, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the requirements and deadlines. Here’s an overview of the different application processes for public high schools this year:

    Read More

  • img

    What to do 24 Hours Before a High School Admissions Test

    • November 12, 2022
    • Paris William Polatidis

    High school admissions tests are often considered the most stressful part of the application process. One’s grades and extracurriculars throughout high school can all be rendered worthless if an admissions test is failed. This is particularly true for the specialized public high schools in New York City who only consider the SHSAT test for consideration at their schools. With such stress inducing tests it is completely normal to feel anxious or nervous the night before an exam. Hopefully, this guide will allow you to go into your test center in a positive and motivated mindset.

    Read More

  • img

    How to Start Preparing for the High School Admissions Process as a 7th Grader

    • October 30, 2022
    • Halina de Jong-Lambert

    7th grade is a formative year as a student, but also as an applicant to high schools. This is the most important year for your grades, as high schools will only see part of your 8th grade transcript and they are more lenient in judging your 6th grade transcript. But it is also a time for you to start exploring what you want out of a high school, so that you go into 8th grade with a good idea of the types of schools you want to apply to and with time to prepare for any admissions exams.

    Read More

  • img

    How to Start off the Year on the Right Foot

    • October 15, 2022
    • Paris William Polatidis

    Whether you’re just starting middle school or are entering eighth grade, it is crucial to make sure that you continue to work hard and keep your grades up. Obtaining high grades in middle school is very important for the high school admissions process. Top high schools will especially prioritize your grades in seventh grade when making admissions decisions so it is incredibly important to try your best if you are entering seventh grade this year. Additionally, by making an effort to understand your academic material in middle school, you will be setting a strong academic foundation for high school.

    Read More