Strategies to Prepare for Tests and Final Exams
It’s that time of year! Many students in middle and high school have important tests or final exams approaching.
Parents often express frustration that their children receive high marks on homework, but struggle on exams. There is a big difference between completing the homework (which many teachers just check off if students have submitted the assignments) and being properly prepared for exams. To be ready for exams, students must: (1) thoroughly understand the underlying concepts and (2) know how to work the problems (particularly for math and science classes).
Here’s a handy checklist to help you guide your children:
1. Glean as much information as possible on what the test is going to cover. If the teachers are not specific, encourage your children to go to the teachers after class and ask for more details or examples. Doing so lets the teachers know that your students are motivated to perform well. Parents can always email the teachers for clarification of test topics if needed.
2. Have your children write in their planners: (1) the day the test will be given, (2) exactly what it will cover, (3) the days and times they will study for the exam. By and large, most children do not spend enough time studying for exams. For example, if they have a test coming up on Friday, they should write in their planner when they are going to study for it each evening Monday through Thursday. Consistent studying produces better retention and understanding than last minute cramming.
3. Students must commit to the habit of reinforcing understanding of concepts and thoroughly preparing, much in the same manner they would prepare for their sports events! If they spend 8 hours in a week preparing for their next game, it should make sense for them to spend at least half that amount of time studying for the upcoming test. Right?
At ACE Tutoring, we help our students with all the above priorities, including ensuring that they thoroughly understand the material and helping them develop their study plan. We recommend that students schedule test prep. sessions (in addition to their regularly scheduled sessions) several days in advance of the exam date. In theory, students know they must study sufficiently. In reality, life gets in the way of study time, especially when students juggle extracurricular activities. Studying in a focused learning environment yields much better results than “studying” sporadically or last-minute at home.
Confidence is KEY. If your children know what the exam will cover and thoroughly prepare for it, they will be able to take the exam with confidence and earn high marks.
Does your child need help with basic study and organization skills? Click here to learn more about our Study Skills 101 program. If you would like to receive more information about our programs or to schedule an individual consultation, please contact the ACE Tutoring center closest to you.