One of the most trying times of high school is finals week. It can seem overwhelming for the whole family, but if you start preparing your child now, they'll feel a lot better about getting everything accomplished on time. Plus, you'll feel a lot better without all the stress of worrying about their study habits.
So let's say we’re all a couple of weeks away from final exams....
Here are ten tips to help you prepare your child's blossoming brain for a successful final exam season:
1. Start Early
It can seem overwhelming, but if your child starts preparing now, it won't be so daunting. Preparation for exams should begin earlier than the day before the test. They can’t cram an entire unit of information into an all-nighter. Get them started at least two weeks before the exam.
2. Spend Time Studying for the Tests that Carry the Most Weight
Not all final exams and papers are created equal. Make sure your child knows what percentage each paper or final exam is worth of their grade. That will give you some perspective on how much time you should designate studying for each class.
3. Focus Time on Weak Spots
If your child is getting a solid A in American Literature, then they obviously don’t need to spend as much time studying for that class. Instead, they should spend most of their study time on the difficult classes where their grade is teetering between two letters. We offer targeted tutoring for all high school academic subjects as well!
Once your child has decided what they need to study and how much time they need to spend studying, there's only one thing left to do: study!
- One of the best ways is to make succinct outlines.
- As your child reads over their textbook and class notes, have them write a brief summary for each topic.
- And then have them highlight the areas in their outline that were most troublesome.
- When they have finished with all the material, they will have an outline they can review.
5. Make Flashcards
Similar to outlining, making flashcards is a really helpful technique for studying. By writing down the information from the outline, your child is already doing half the studying. Once the flashcards are complete, they will have a handy-dandy study packet to look over. This also gives you as the parent a chance to study with your child and ensure they have the knowledge without spoonfeeding it to them.
6. Get Help
If your child is having trouble memorizing something or a particular concept is just not sinking in, get help before test time rears its ugly head. If you are unable to address your child's problem areas, ask their teachers to go over the issue they might be having. Of course, we also offer custom tutoring for your child.
7. Spend Time Reviewing Class Notes ASAP
Do your child and yourself a favor. Urge them to take at least one hour each day reviewing class notes. That seems like a lot of time, but it sure beats cramming at the last minute and the collateral stress that comes from it.
8. Review the Syllabus
Have your child highlight all the areas that are important and peruse the syllabus in order to narrow down the key areas of study. By simply going over all their class notes, your child will get a good overview of the specific areas they should start studying. This will also provide them with a good summary of everything they’ve been learning this semester.
9. Organize Study Groups
Most students wait until the last minute to form study groups. And those group meetings often turn into stressful cram sessions. To avoid this, your child should organize study groups now to go over class notes and areas that should get studied. They’ll all feel ahead of the game if they start their study groups now – and that’s a huge way to reduce stress during finals week.
10. Design a Study Schedule and Stick to It
Your child should study at least three hours a week (per class) to maximize finals success. By setting aside time now to focus on their final exam, they're preparing their minds for the rough sailing ahead. Concurrently, they’ll also find areas that they have questions about. This will provide them with a surplus of time to get answers from their teachers.
Making a calendar outlining a daily schedule of topics for review helps regiment your child's learning before the final. After each topic, give them a mini review. This is something our tutors can help your child do as well.
If you feel like your child could use some additional help for their finals, feel free to contact us.