One of the most challenging aspects of school for my middle and high school students is studying. I often warn them that college is the worst place to learn how to study because by then there is an assumption that you have already mastered those techniques, and can therefore apply them to several pages or chapters of text with ease. To be honest, this is also true for high school. You’re not learning to study during these years, you’re applying your study skills. The earlier students develop these skills, the better! I wanted to share a few techniques I recommend for efficient and effective preparation for tests and quizzes.
Pre-Reading/Reading: Reviewing the text or content in preparation for the test is helpful. However, re-reading is not studying. (Read that again!)
In reviewing the text, the student should first review vocabulary, look back at questions they have or may need to answer, and then review the text with those questions in mind. Stopping to respond to a question verbally, or summarize the text along the way can also help them be sure they’re absorbing the information.
Self Test: As a continuation from above, a student should, even while alone, refer to questions and verbally express the answer, looking back at the text or study guide to be sure they are matching the expected response. I would recommend repeating this step at least 3 times.
Partner or group review: Following self testing by practicing with a partner or a group, is a great way to prove mastery.
Rest: Be sure to take breaks throughout study sessions, and get really good sleep before test day.
Keep in mind:
Cramming immediately before a test is often not effective. The goal is learning the material, so space out study time over the course of the week.
Avoid spending too much time on one subject. Again, spacing study over the course of days (or even weeks) is much more beneficial.
Need more techniques or a specific plan of action for your child? Feel free to email here.