Studying should not be passive—it should be a full-contact sport. In order to really study, students need to get engaged in the material. The following tips will help your child properly prepare for upcoming tests:
- Set the groundwork. When you know a big test is coming up, ask “Can you show me how you’re going to study?” Remember, the end grade isn’t as important as the process. Knowing your child is putting forth effort is key.
- Use the study guide as an aide only. Don’t ask questions from the study guide verbatim. Memorizing only what is on the study guide does not develop connections to the material.
- Try using 3×5 cards. Using index cards to read, review, and recite. Get kids to quiz themselves and study independently.
- Utilize mnemonic devices. Use mnemonic devices (acronyms) to connect to-be-learned information to what the learner already knows.
- Let your teen hold the cards. If your teen has flashcards that he needs to study, let him hold the cards and quiz you. Allowing the student to take on the role of the teacher increases information retention.
- Draw a picture. This helps to create a mental image, which triggers the definition.
- Make a practice test. Have the student generate a sample test of questions he thinks might be on the exam.
- Invite a friend over. Small group learning can be far more appealing and productive and, positive peer influence and group discussions can improve academic success.
- Plan ahead. Record test dates in your student’s planner, along with the smaller study tasks. Breaking down a large task increases memory retention and decreases stress.
Encourage your teen to try out a few of these strategies to create solid studying habits that will help throughout high school and college.
Information provided by Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., founder and president of Educational Connections, Inc., a comprehensive provider of educational services in Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD.