Winter finals arrive at one of most frantic times of the year: students juggle holiday prep, cookies with Grandma, traveling, sledding, and a slew of other activities as they prepare for their exams. Teachers are bombarded with last minute pleas for extra credit and extra help. Oftentimes a student will not get the help they need if they wait until the last minute. So, we’ve collected a few tips on how to make sure any student is prepared well in advance.
1. The Early Bird Catches the "A"
If your child's like every other student, they'll probably wait until the last conceivable moment to get help from their teacher. The key? Get help as soon as possible! The student-teacher ratio hovers between 20-1 and 40-1 in most schools, which means your child will get significantly less help because Mrs. Johnson is scrambling to assist 15 students within a one or two week time frame.
2. Get it Together!
Tell your child to get their materials all nice and tidy. This is helpful for two reasons:
- Students find out if they are missing handouts, assignments or notes. This gives them ample time to reach out to their teacher or classmates and make sure they are well equipped to study when the test comes. So, open folders, sift through crammed lockers and get all of the semester’s materials sorted and organized.
- Organization will help a student identify the areas where they didn’t score as well throughout the semester. If there is a quiz, unit, or assignment where the grade fell below the typical work in that class, that means the material warrants some revisiting. Seeing these gaps now will allow for time to catch up. Our Chicago tutors are skilled at not only getting students organized, but also seeing the "big picture."
This bring us to number three:
3. What's your Problem (area)?
After all the shuffling and sorting of crumbled, dilapidated paper, you notice little Annie landed a few Ds on her Algebra quizzes. So that's what she needs to focus on! Depending on how much time she has remaining, her frazzled teacher may be able to squeeze her in, or a fresh and funky Chicago Tutor can help!
So let's say our little Annie takes her Algebra final and bombs it-- It is never too late to relearn these skills! Mathematics is a cumulative study; that is, it builds and builds upon itself. If Annie is to succeed in future mathematics, she may need to review those concepts again.
4. Stay on Task!
Before dreams of presents consume your child's consciousness, make sure to begin scheduling specific time that can be allocated towards studying. Make sure to steal their smartphone, TV remote, and other distractions so the time can be used effectively.
Start small, even a half hour a day can make a big difference. Mental exercise is a lot like physical exercise. With deliberate repetition and practice comes skill!
And of course, the earlier the habit is introduced, the better. Weekly tutoring can help form these patterns, as well as assist in building organizational skills and student confidence.
Parents and students alike can create flash cards, memory mnemonics, other study aids to help the student absorb the information. This helps particularly for math, Spanish, and other subjects that require boring rote memorization.
And last but not least,
5. Take A Deep Breath
Overall, neither parents or students should stress too much before finals come around, and the best way to not stress is for the student to study early and study often (bringing us back to #1! See how I did that??). Make sure to take stock of where your child is now and make a plan of how to best suit their needs before they take that final test.
Still feel like your child could use that extra boost before finals roll around?
Contact a Chicago Tutor at The House for help with finals.