December is here: the semester is nearly over, and it’s time to start getting ready for finals.
Are you thinking, “Yikes!”?
Actually, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Beefing up your study skills and reviewing test-taking strategies are two ways to augment your preparation so you have a successful finals week.
Take a look:
How do you learn best? Alone? In a group? Are you a visual learner? auditory? kinesthetic? You learn most effectively when you understand how you personally learn. You study most effectively when you know how you best study.
Learning skills and study strategies can be taught, but they have to be individualized, for best success. You may even find that you need to study differently depending on the subject!
Here’s a great website that explains learning styles and offers a quick on-line quiz to help you assess your own style:
Follow that up by exploring which tools and strategies work best for you:
For most students with AD/HD, cram sessions just don’t work. Ideally, preparing for a test starts early in the semester and includes carefully reading assignments before class, reviewing any problem sets if applicable, and reviewing notes right after class. At this point in the semester, hopefully all you need to do is catch up on a bit of reading and then review notes and readings to be ready for finals.
Keep in mind: studying does take time, so pull out a calendar and plan blocks of time to prepare for each exam into your schedule if you want to be successful!
College classes often have fewer graded assignments than high school classes. So, any single test can count for a fairly substantial portion of your grade.
How do you study for tests? How many different strategies do you use? How well are your strategies working for you?
Check out this quick on-line self-assessment of test-taking skills to find out how good you are at preparing for and taking tests:
Reviewing the material a number of times, over time, and perhaps in several modalities (read it, write it, say it, ask someone to quiz you, etc.) is important in preparing most effectively for a test. Studying over time is more effective than cramming.
Some students also benefit from test-taking accommodations, such as a quiet location for test-taking and/or extended time. If you qualify, be sure to make arrangements for this as quickly as possible.
Want to review some test-taking tips and strategies in detail? Here are a few useful resources:
http://www.studygs.net/ (look at the sections on test preparation and on test taking)
Also, here are a few other blog posts on study skills and test-taking in case you want to explore further:
Here’s hoping that finals week goes smoothly for you … and then that you have a wonderful break afterwards!