College Planning

50 Ways Students Are Staying Focused While at Home 

Remote learning and  stepping out of your usual routine can be  a little  challenging  sometimes, but the good news is that you’re not alone! 

We asked our @CollegeBoard Instagram followers to share tips and advice they have to  stay focused  and motivated during these challenging times.  Here are 50 tips that may help you stay focused. Just remember, it’s OK not to be productive all the time and be sure to ask for help from a caring adult if you need it! 


Plan Out Your Day  

  • I made a schedule to plan my days out. 
  • Allowing myself enough time in the morning to awaken and get ready for the day. 
  • Sorting assignments and planning my schedule for the rest of the week. 
  • I set a checklist for the day of what I  have to  get done. 
  • Making weekly study plans to keep on task and hanging them up by my desk to remind myself. 
  • I spend an hour in the in the morning to plan the day and mentally prepare. It really helps me.
  • Go about your day as if you were in  school, following your regular bell schedule. 

Take Breaks  

  • Study for an hour then take a 30 min break and repeat a few times a day.  
  • Taking breaks when I need to! I’m more productive this way than working nonstop!   
  • Study for 25 min. Take a 5 min. break. Repeat.  

Create a Study Space   

  • Having a separate space from where I do things such as game or use social media.   
  • Make a study corner. 
  • Finding a new place to study each time so that you don’t get bored and stay engaged. 

Set a Goal  

  • Set a realistic goal to achieve that day and set my mind to it as well as giving myself breaks. 
  • I stay motivated thinking about the colleges I want to get into. 
  • Doing a  scholarship  a day. 

Minimize Distractions   

  • Use the forest app so I don’t get directed on my phone! I like to set 30 min. study intervals.  
  • Take a break from electronics. 

Treat Yourself 

  • I am keeping a routine and treating myself after I get a certain amount of work done. 
  • I established a personal reward system with watching Netflix and snacks. 
  • Frequent dance breaks!  
  • Focus on the goal of college and—of course—chocolate. 

Try Something New  

  • Learning to play a new instrument. 
  • I set a drawing challenge for myself so I can keep up my painting skills. 
  • Work on puzzles a workout for the brain!  
  • Find a passion project to allocate some time for recharging. I’m learning French!  
  • Dying my hair platinum blonde. 
  • I’ve been sewing and working on craft projects I’ve been needing to finish. 
  • I’m  extremely close to cutting myself some bangs. 

Keep Active & Healthy  

  • After each class or  assignment , I’ll do a set of  workouts – keeps the blood pumping. 
  • Waking up early and going on a run to wake myself up and be ready for  schoolwork. 
  • I regularly get up and stretch. 
  • Getting 8+ hours of sleep. 
  • Staying hydrated and motivated. 
  • Take a yoga break every hour—stretch out your back. 
  • Opening my window to not get cabin fever. 

Find a Support System  

  • I FaceTime friends who have the same classes so we can work together. 
  • Staying in contact with my teachers and classmates. 
  • Checking up on my friends every week—making sure they’re healthy and safe!   
  • FaceTime with friends to study and watch the College Board review videos together. 

Use College Board Resources  

  • I use Khan Academy to practice SAT and keep track  of  my progress. 
  • Watching the live AP videos on YouTube and completing practice FRQs on my own. 
  • The AP live lessons are GOOD. Like so good. They’ve been helping a ton. 


Balancing both  personal and academic life at home is something new to many of us, so when things  get overwhelming, take a few deep breaths. We know you’re doing your best.   

If you  or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please know that there are many resources out there for you.  You can start  by visiting the  JED Foundation  and browse the  variety of resources  that  help young people manage their emotional health and well-being.   

If you  or someone you know is anxious about coronavirus, you can get free help through  Crisis Text Line  and text HOME to  741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.   

For more  timely updates and tips, follow us  on Instagram @collegeboard.