8 Tips for Acing Freshman Exams
by Barbara Dianis, M.A. E.D.
While standing in line waiting to see the latest hit movie, I overheard a mother, her son, and a few of his friends discussing the impending initial round of high school midterms. The mother was trying to explain the impact that final exams can have on a high-school student’s scholastic future. The boys seemed simultaneously uninterested and stressed at the thoughts of exams. One said he didn’t plan on studying for his exams until the day before each test. Another declared he wasn’t sure what to study or how to score a good grade on each of his five exams. As the discussion went on it was apparent to me the teenagers wanted to earn good grades on their exams but were unsure of the new processes of studying for their first big high school exams.
As the line for the movie began to move and the group of ninth graders took their seats I couldn’t help but wonder if I should offer some exam study tips to the new high school level students. As the movie began I found myself thinking about a few need-to-know pointers that have helped my students earn good grades on their final exams:
- High school students generally benefit from preparing a few minutes a day, several weeks prior to exam week. Students who relearn and review core learning concepts daily for ten to fifteen minutes typically retain and recall the information more consistently.
- The week before the exams, high-school students should increase their review time for each class by twenty minutes or more. Parents may need to remind their teenager that the additional review time can help transform their scholastic future, raise their GPAs and class rank. However, they should also be careful not to cause their son or daughter undue anxiety or stress when nicely discussing their study plan.
- A parent can help assist their teenager by discussing a workable exam study, and review plans to follow the week before and of the exams.
- A study area within the home should be set aside for the student to use as their review station. A crate of study supplies, including needed items such as highlighters and a small white board can be great time savers. Teenagers typically are more focused when they have an organized study area to do their homework.
- Students who are unsure of what to study should look over previous test and quiz questions as well as their outlines and review sheets. As soon as a study guide is given the teenager should begin reviewing all the information on the guides.
- Teenagers generally benefit from making flash card review games to help bring some fun into their review time. Parents may want to host a small study group with several of their teen’s friends. This can improve the students’ retention, and help fill in each other’s learning gaps. In addition, study groups can bring a much-needed element of fun to the learning sessions.
- Numerous teenagers find they can retain and recall more of the core information while taking the exams if they have reviewed the information both orally and in a written form. Reviewing the information in different ways helps your brain to better retain it.
- When preparing for exams or taking tests, students benefit from drinking water. While it sounds trivial, research suggests a well hydrated brain can function at a more optimum level.
Ninth graders who will be taking high school level exams can benefit from employing test taking solutions to help them improve their scores. Countless students have been able to add one of more letter grades to their scores by preparing early and utilizing test-taking strategies. Ninth graders can learn how to become better test takers and increase their GPAs and class rank.
Barbara Dianis, MA ED, overcame dyslexia in her own life using self-taught strategies and techniques. She went on to earn a BA Degree in Education and Special Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Education, Special Education Pre-k- 12th, Language Learning Disabilities, and Psychometry. As CEO and Founder of Dianis Educational Systems, LLC she has influenced society to view students with various learning issues as capable students who can overcome their learning issues if they are taught properly. Dianis has also run an educational tutoring business for the past 20 years that have helped thousands of students with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and learning differences to achieve enormous scholastic and professional successes.