November 17, 2017
Five Winning Strategies for Test Prep
Jackie Rubin, Director of Academic Skills
Although people learn and study in different ways, there are a few strategies that are effective for everyone. By following the guidelines below, students can find longer-lasting learning and improved results on assessments.
Start early. Cramming does work, but it comes at a price: Increased stress for only short-term gain. Ideally, students should be reviewing gradually and regularly so that they are always engaged with the material and prepared for assessments.
Study in small pieces over time. Break up test preparation into specific tasks (memorizing terms, making a study guide, doing practice problems, writing an essay outline) and plan backward from the test date.
Use active study strategies: Avoid just mindlessly reading over notes. Instead, students can read their notes aloud, teach someone else the information, redo past assessments, walk around while memorizing, or participate in a study group.
Utilize practice quizzing/testing. This is a crucial piece in building retention and retrieval pathways. Quizlet and plain old-fashioned flash cards allow for easy self-quizzing.
At Kingswood Oxford, a private school, where I help students develop strategies for success, students can readily speak to their advisors each week about the challenges they are facing. I always encourage students to talk to their teachers directly and develop an interactive partnership to help them understand not just what to learn, but how to learn, too.
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