How to study for EXAMS...
As the end of the semester approaches, teachers around the globe are giving their students the same piece of advice: “Study for your exams.” The unfortunate thing is that many students have no idea what this means. Providing learners with a clear picture of what studying looks like will help them develop practices that will yield results on final exams and other assessments. Here’s an acronym you could use with your students as you help them organize their study efforts:
Studying is not a passive activity. Many students think reading over their notes or review packets is an effective study technique, when in reality, it does little to reinforce long-term understanding. Try explaining the material in your own words. Work collaboratively with a study partner, or tell your dog, your favorite plant, or your little sister all about what you’re learning. If you can explain it, there’s a good chance that you understand it.
X (focus on the Xs):
Teachers traditionally put an X on a student’s paper to indicate questions or objectives the student answered incorrectly. But when students study for a test over the same material later, they often treat everything equally. Don’t waste your time re-studying all the things you already know. Pinpoint your points of confusion and work on ways to make sure you understand those difficult parts.
Use Costa’s Levels of Thinking to write (and answer) questions about the content you are studying. Predict the questions you think might be asked on the exam. Higher-level questions can help you make connections between the things you’ve learned throughout the semester.
Manage time and materials:
Schedule blocks of time to study, and turn off your cell phone so you can concentrate on the task at hand. Make sure you have all the materials you need: textbooks, review packet, old tests and quizzes, class notes, and whatever resources your teacher has recommended.
Sleep and study breaks:
Pulling an “all-nighter” sounds like a good idea when you’re under pressure to do well on an exam, but a tired brain isn’t a fully-functioning brain. To prepare your brain to do its best, make sure that you get some rest. Also, reward yourself for your hard work by taking short breaks while you study. After hours of exertion, your brain needs some time to relax.
Good luck during exam week!
English Language Arts Instructional Specialist