In February, we are helping students prepare for tests coming up this semester. Check here every Thursday for effective study skills, memorization techniques, and more to get students prepared and stress free for the test. Testing should only put a strain on students if they aren’t prepared, so pass along these tips to help them develop test-taking skills before the big day.
Studying With a Plan
The following are tips that can help students ace their challenging subjects by making the most of their study time.
1. Study in the same place at the same time every day. When you sit in the same place at the same time, your brain says, “Okay, it is study time!” Be prepared when you sit down and separate yourself from anything that might distract you, like a cellphone or instant messaging.
2. Preview your books. Look through the table of contents and identify the points the book covers. Skim through the assigned chapter before diving into the text. Look at the pictures and read the captions.
3. Come up with an acronym for hard-to-remember lists. For example, in English class you can remember your coordinating conjunctions with the acronym FANBOYS: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.
4. Figure out what kind of learner you are. There are three learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Many of us are a combination of the different styles but show dominance in one particular area.
5. Learn to chill. Sleep and exercise are both good stress relievers. Getting exercise relieves tension and encourages blood flow to your brain, which opens up your memory bank. Research shows sleep deprivation interferes with the learning process, so study wisely and don’t rely on cramming the night before.
6. Recopy and reread your notes. One of the keys to memorization is repetition. Writing something down a second time — for instance rewriting your class notes neatly to study for a test — helps it stick to your brain. As you’re reading, you might want to circle the main ideas and highlight or underline important words. Also, read the material out loud when you’re studying it. This way you both see and hear the material at the same time.
7. Break new material into chunks. Your brain isn’t made for cramming. If you have four chapters to cover or your next social studies test, review a chapter a night instead of trying to learn it all at once. Then do a quick review of all four chapters the night before the test. The same process goes for projects. Determine how you can break a project into smaller steps. Then work on one step at a time to help you from becoming overwhelmed by the task.
What are some tips you’ve shared with your students to get them prepared for testing day? Share your ideas in the comment box below.
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