Big exam coming up? Maybe your child is not doing too well on tests and you want to give them some advice? These top 5 studying tools can really help get those grades up!
1. Cheat Sheets
Cheating? No way! It might be called a cheat sheet, but it is only cheating if you actually use it during the exam. For some exams, the teacher will let you use a cheat sheet, so feel free to use it on those exams, but for other exams, the act of making the sheet is often times more valuable than having it on the exam!
Start by writing out all the major topics on the exam, then for each topic, break it down into smaller sub-topics. You might even break the sub topics down into sub-sub-topics! Keep it organized with this type of hierarchical formatting.
Next, fill in the important info for all of the topics on the sheet. Don't hesitate to include practice questions, but make sure you fully solve and understand the practice questions before adding it to the sheet. Even if you are allowed to bring in the cheat sheet for the exam, you will know that you really spent the right amount of time on this sheet if you don't even need to look at it during the exam!
2. Index Cards
Need to understand the meaning of several words, maybe for a vocabulary exam? Definitions are even helpful for math exams, and besides definitions, index cards can be a great method to write out and practice multiple choice problems. Only look at the multiple choices if you need them. The goal is understanding, not memorizing.
A great website for index cards is quizlet.com, since they have pre-made cards on various topics. While great websites do exist, there is a lot of value in making your index cards by hand!
3. Practice Tests
For a lot of exams, a teacher will share practice exams. You might even be able to find practice exams online, depending on the topic. Take as many practice exams as you can, and give yourself a score on each exam.
The most important part of using practice exams is going over the questions that you've gotten wrong. The SAT is a good example of where practice exams are a key to success. One of our tutors actually has a unique method of recommending the best questions, based on the questions you've gotten wrong.
4. Foundational Problems
It is very easy to find problems related to the material that will be on the exam. Look in the chapter of your book that you are on and try some of the problems. However, this is similar to completing the practice tests mentioned above. What do we mean by "foundational problems?"
We want you to go back a chapter, maybe even go back to chapter 1. Depending on the subject, this technique can be the only method for success. If you do not understand a topic from a previous chapter, and this chapter is building on top of that topic, you need to go back. Start with a really easy problem and knock it out of the park! Then build up gradually to the material on the current exam!
5. Group Study Sessions
People, people, people. Collaboration and group studying can be a great way to boost your knowledge. Have you ever learned something new while helping a friend solve a problem?
Different minds think differently. If your friend solves a problem one way and you solve it a different way, you can enhance your skillset and perspective by working together. Use each other to ask questions from the index cards above or go over practice test questions together.
The key to group studying is to do it after you have studied on your own because it can really boost your knowledge by working with others. This is not a strict requirement, but if you plan to study in a group before studying on your own, it helps to find a study partner that complements the way you solve problems.
Hope you enjoyed our post, please share if it helps!
All the best,
Your friends at Connecting Concepts Tutoring