Tests aren’t going away anytime soon, and as the stakes increase, when the time for tests rolls around everybody in the classroom can get a little edgy.
Teachers need all the help they can find to prepare students to take tests seriously without making them anxious or overwrought. Here are a few useful ideas for teachers that will encourage their students’ ability to develop good study skills, to balance work with relaxation and to get sufficient practice before tests begin.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Regular practice tests on specific subjects are useful for getting students familiar with how to approach the real thing. A couple of weeks before a test is due a good tip is to prepare a short-form version – maybe half the length the actual test will be. Students can then complete the test in sections, pausing to review questions and answers and discussing these in class. This helps them gain confidence, reduces their anxiety and ensures they understand the language that will be used in the examination.
2. Sharing Information
When studying in class in preparation for a test, it can help to divide the class into smaller groups and set them topics to review based on past performance. For example, weaker math students often benefit from tackling work alongside fellow students who tend to get better grades (as long as we have them); communicating with each other and tackling problems or topics as a group often improves the aptitude of underperforming students.
3. Self-Directing Review
It’s worth taking a few moments in the classroom to discuss how students study outside of school. A good tip is to encourage them to identify their personal preferences – some will study best in a quiet corner where they won’t be distracted, while others will prefer a busy study environment, perhaps even with background music. Time management can be improved if students make a study plan and organizing their paperwork or onscreen notes into folders will assist them when it comes to completing assignments or revising.
4. Paying Attention in Class
This seems like such a standard concept that it’s easy to dismiss it as too obvious, however teachers can make an important impact when delivering a lesson if they also explain how that lesson will help when it comes to taking a test. Once students know the significance of the information being provided, they are more inclined to make relevant notes and stay focused.
5. A Balanced Approach to Study
It’s important that students take a balanced view of the requirements to study so that they neither overdo nor underrate the academic work element. Making time for regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and scheduling times for relaxation as well as for study will help. Students preparing to embark on medical assisting programs, for example, will know that medical assisting programs will teach them a wide range of administrative as well as medical techniques, at the end of which they will be tested in order to qualify for a certificate or a degree.
To take advantage of the breadth of knowledge they will encounter, they need to have a good work/life balance – and the same is true of all students no matter their course of study.
This is a contributed post from Publisher’s Network; Image attribution flickr user renatogonato