2 December 2008 09:29 AM

Exam Week Tips

by Dr. Rick

Can it really be that exam week is coming up so soon? You bet. Tempus fugit. (Have your student look up the meaning.) When should your student start studying? It’s easy and tempting to procrastinate. That’s why it’s important for your child to get in the habit of establishing good study habits and attitudes early. No time to lose. He needs to stay current with assignments, take good notes, and participate in class. If he needs help, get it early - don’t wait until exam week. If her study habits are strong – if they’ve become an important routine for her – she’ll have a strong chance of success. All nighters are a terrible way to study and they’re the worst way to learn!


Here are some tips for parents and teachers to help their students survive Exam Week:  


1.   Develop good study habits. Habits are hard to break, so establish healthy ones now. Get your work done early. Establish a study routine and stick to it. Turn off the TV. Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you really can’t multitask.  

2.   Schedule some breaks. You can’t study all the time, so give yourself short breaks now and then. You’ve earned them. Call a friend, who’s also on a study break.  Eat a healthy snack. Exercise. Meditate.

3.   Have a study buddy. Studying with a friend is almost always a good idea, especially if he’s as motivated as you are. Set up study times well in advance of a test. Quiz each other. Help each other. Challenge each other. Celebrate your successes. Console one another when necessary.

4.   Be comfortable. Study in a comfortable place that’s organized with all of your equipment, supplies, and books. Turn off all distractions. I’ll say it again: you really can’t multitask.

5.   Eliminate stress. Okay, easier said than done, but not impossible. Here’s my favorite suggestion: stay away from negative people, complainers, procrastinators, and any others who don’t have your best interests at heart. You know who they are. Surround yourself with positive, upbeat, confident people.  Stress and confidence are equally contagious. Which do you want to catch?

6.   Be strong. You’ll have plenty of people (they’re not friends) who’ll want to distract you from studying. If you have a strong group of study buddies, you’ll be more likely to say “no” to the distracters.

7.   Talk to yourself. Yes, that’s right. Do “positive self-talk.” Have a conversation with yourself to remind yourself of all the work you’ve done, the good grades you’ve earned in this class, the goals you’re taking seriously, and the interest you’ve developed in this subject. “I’m doing my best. I’ve done well on earlier quizzes and tests. I’ve stayed current with assignments. There’s no reason I should not do well on this exam.” Believe in yourself, and watch your confidence rise.

8.   Don’t be discouraged. So, what happens if you still don’t make your goals? If you’ve really done your best (only you know that), then you may need to get some extra help. Consider a tutor, some extra time with a teacher, or someone who’s a star in this subject. Most of all, though, put it all in perspective. Doing poorly on a test does not make you a failure, just a proud member of the rest of the human race. Everyone’s been there! As the old song says, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.



Opinion | Tests


Add comment


  • Comment
  • Preview

Blog Posting Rules

This blog is for the good of education - for students, for teachers and for parents. I very much value a two-way communication with you and welcome and encourage your comments and feedback. However, to facilitate a constructive conversation that is beneficial to everyone in this online community, I expect the same respect in your comments that I present in my blog.

Read the full Dr. Rick Blog Posting Rules.