Background
Background Mobile
main logo
main logo

Will The Coronavirus Affect My Education?

A Q&A with Crimson Education CEO, Jamie Beaton

What We Do

The words of brilliant Crimson students who achieved their dreams working with us

US College Admissions

Stand out from the field on your US application

Top UK Admissions

Excite admissions officers with your UK application

SAT Tutoring

Outclass your peers with our premier tutoring

SAT Tutoring

Level up your score and reach as far as possible

US College Admissions

Stand out from the field on your US application

Top UK Admissions

Excite admissions officers with your UK application

SAT Tutoring

Outclass your peers with our premier tutoring

SAT Tutoring

Level up your score and reach as far as possible

Will The Coronavirus Affect My Education?

A Q&A with Crimson Education CEO, Jamie Beaton

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, there is a lot of uncertainty around how it will impact students’ academic performance, ability to participate in extracurricular activities and, eventually, their US or UK university applications. 

Recently, Crimson CEO, Jamie Beaton, held a live webinar answering questions about the virus and how it may affect school classes, extracurriculars, college applications and more. The webinar received a huge response with students and parents asking Jamie an endless number of questions which we did not have time to cover in the webinar itself.  As such we are providing this blog to provide clarity and support for families to help negotiate this difficult time. 

Please keep in mind that the situation is changing daily and while the information below is accurate at the time of publishing, things may change fast. As such, please use this as a rough guide to answer some of your bigger questions but not as an alternative to daily news updates. 

Thank you for reading,

The Crimson Team

Q: What do I do if my high school exams are cancelled or postponed, and predicted grades or transcripts cannot be given in time for university applications? 

While this question is quite speculative at this point, what I can say is that universities may extend their deadlines for when materials are due. Schools may also give you a predicted grade earlier than normal, and the Coronavirus may be fully contained by the time applications are due.

However, waiting to see what happens is extremely risky. Instead, there are  better options that will put you in a safer position:

  1. Email the universities and let them know your situation: They may extend their admissions deadline, or even defer your application.
  2. Diversify your academic subjects and curriculum: For example, if you are an IB student, studying A Level subjects will strengthen your academic profile and increase the likelihood of having an impressive range of academic qualifications to your name. It is possible to study for these outside of school.
  3. Consider taking a gap year and apply a year later: However, make sure you do something to boost your candidacy during this time. Some current students are already taking extra A Levels in order to improve their academic profile, working on unique extracurricular activities and making sure they spend some time studying for their standardised exams. 

Q: Aside from competing in Olympiads and completing online courses, are there any other academic awards / activities you recommend striving for during this time? 

When choosing competitions to participate in, it’s important to think about the types of competitions you apply to. If you’re average at math, don’t participate in the Math Olympiad, as it only really counts if you place.

Below are a few ideas:

  • VEX robotics
  • Future Problem Solving
  • A Level classes
  • CS50 (Harvard’s online Introduction to Computer Science course)
  • Online research competitions
  • Journals
  • Regional applied math competitions
  • Princeton Math Competition
  • Entrepreneurship using data – for example, one of our students created an app showing how many packets of cigarettes you’re smoking per day due to the air pollution level

Q: Do you have any tips for making use of spare time, or any good examples of extracurriculars that students can do from home during this time?

  • Complete an online course through Coursera or EdX
  • Pick up extra subjects (A Level subjects or APs)
  • Start an online club
  • Create an innovative project that makes an impact on your community. The most successful activities are ones that:
    • Make some sort of change, mobilise them to do something e.g. send in change.org campaign
    • Can quantify your project e.g. how many people in your community etc.

Why Are Crimson

Q: What do I do if my SAT has been cancelled, or if future SAT dates are cancelled? 

Standardised exams tend to have many students sitting in one big room and breathing the same air for hours, thus it’s likely that these exams will be postponed or cancelled in areas heavily affected by Coronavirus. 

If your SAT does get cancelled, use this time to practice - you can even sit a full length exam under real time conditions on the day you were supposed to take the exam to see how you would have gone.

Usually, I recommend students only focus on the SAT or the ACT depending on which test they are naturally better at, as opposed to splitting their study time in half to try to cover both exams; however, if you are applying in the next cycle, we recommend registering for both tests, and then turning up to whichever isn’t cancelled. While this requires more studying, you don’t want to leave anything up to chance.

If you are unable to sit the SAT or the ACT before university applications are due, contact the schools you are applying to and ask for an extension on the standardised test due date. For more information on the SAT and ACT, click here: https://www.crimsoneducation.org/au/blog/sat-vs-act-whats-the-difference

Q:  If you don’t know what you want to major in at university, what extracurricular activities can you do to show your passion/commitment?

Choose extracurriculars that will stretch you academically, help you develop useful skills and that you enjoy. Examples of this are Model UN, humanities (writing / theatre / drama / communications to improve oratory skills) and volunteering in areas you care about. 

Admission support across Australia, New Zealand and beyond

Admission support across Australia, New Zealand and beyond
Admission support across Australia, New Zealand and beyond

Crimson's Success

The words of brilliant Crimson students who achieved their dreams working with us

460+
Offers to the world’s best colleges
38
Offers to Oxford & Cambridge
133
Offers to Ivy League colleges
$45M
Worth of scholarships (USD)

Crimson's Success

The words of brilliant Crimson students who achieved their dreams working with us

banner-image
play
review

World-Class Universities

Go behind the scenes at some of the top universities in the world to gain an insight into campus life and to explore the possibilities for your own future.

city

Q: What do you recommend if schools cancel their extracurriculars?

Firstly, you do not have to do extracurriculars and leadership activities (ECLs) that are linked to your school. In fact, creating your own ECL projects or clubs outside of school or online shows more initiative and develops your entrepreneurial skills. Think about the skills you’d like to develop, a problem that needs to be fixed in your community, or something that you would like to try – this is a good place to start when planning ECL projects. 

If you are low on time, do a self review to work out how you spend most of your time. Can you create better study habits? Is there a current activity that is adding no value to your development? Is there a subject you should change or drop? Our ECL mentors are great at helping students explore options depending on your unique situation.

    Q: Should the Coronavirus be mentioned in our personal statements and essays, or in the application at all? What about if I am applying to medicine? 

    The Coronavirus will be a popular talking point in many students’ essays and personal statements, so it will be difficult to stand out. 

    However, If you have done something unique in response to the Coronavirus, then this could be an interesting talking point in your essay or personal statement. However, if you have not done something unique, then I would steer clear of the subject. 

    With regards to medicine: if you are applying for pre-med and you have coordinated a public health response (for example, imported masks and distributed them, or held public seminars online about how to stay healthy, or something else innovative), then this shows impact, initiative, entrepreneurship and public health linkages – all of which are important for your admissions profile. However, just writing about the virus without any other context will not make for a strong essay. 

    A Final Word:

    I know how hard it is to understand how the virus will affect your long-term education goals and that the more questions that pop up, the fewer answers there seem to be. However, it is extremely important to understand that universities around the world are monitoring the virus and while we cannot predict exactly how it will affect your applications, we can say with certainty that there are ways to utilize your time that will help make your overall candidacy stronger. Focus on putting your best foot forward and view this time as an opportunity to increase your academic rigour, create impactful projects and work on your candidacy as a whole. 

    Jamie is the CEO of Crimson Education and a graduate of Harvard, Stanford’s MBA program and is currently completing a DPhil at Oxford on a Rhodes’ Scholarship with his thesis focusing on online education.

2018 Judging Panel

The words of brilliant Crimson students who achieved their dreams working with us

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

2018 Judging Panel
CRIMSON EDUCATION CEO

Co-founder and CEO of Crimson Education. Jamie applied to the top 25 universities in the world and gained acceptance into all of them. Jamie was named 2016 Young Innovator of the Year by the NZ Innovation Counil. This year Jamie featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 - Consumer Tech.

Hear it from Crimson Students

The words of brilliant Crimson students who achieved their dreams working with us

Review Img
I already knew how to get good grades and test scores, but it wasn’t until I met with my strategist sophomore year that I realized the importance of extracurriculars. I had just been in school clubs and varsity sports, but was able to start working on a non-profit that we integrated heavily in my application to Harvard.
Brendan F.
Harvard University - Class of 2020
Review Img
I already knew how to get good grades and test scores, but it wasn’t until I met with my strategist sophomore year that I realized the importance of extracurriculars. I had just been in school clubs and varsity sports, but was able to start working on a non-profit that we integrated heavily in my application to Harvard.
Brendan F.
Harvard University - Class of 2020
Review Img
I already knew how to get good grades and test scores, but it wasn’t until I met with my strategist sophomore year that I realized the importance of extracurriculars. I had just been in school clubs and varsity sports, but was able to start working on a non-profit that we integrated heavily in my application to Harvard.
Brendan F.
Harvard University - Class of 2020
arrow
arrow
partners
partners

Watch the Jamie Beaton Webinar

Fill out the below to watch the Coronavirus: Your Academics, Extracurriculars & College Applications webinar.