Most of our students jump into finals next week, which means this week is integral to their success. How can you help them prep?
Don’t let your student cram next weekend. Start this week by blocking out short, frequent study sessions: 15 minutes at a time, working ahead, prepping for each class. We know that attention is going to fade toward the end of the week and major mental blocks paired with anxiety might hit, so whatever you can do now, do it.
Make a Plan
Schools post their finals schedules with plenty of time before exams, giving us time to make a detailed plan leading up to the tests. Once your student has mapped out their actual test times, figure out which office hours they need to attend, which teachers need to be emailed, and how projects and papers need to be blocked out. If you need assistance with this, contact your mentor: we’re available this week and we want to help your student, even if it means coming in for additional sessions.
Projects and Papers
These are the best assignments to work ahead on. If a paper is due on Wednesday, it should be done by Monday so that your student has time to check in and look it over with their teacher. If the person grading it is the person who’s giving feedback on it before it’s turned in, your student is setting themselves up for success by meeting with them before the due date.
Encourage your students to use this resource! Office hours increase this time of year; teachers want to be available to students as much as possible. If your student studies with their teacher, it will save them so much time. Teachers appreciate students who take the time to come in, and chances are they’ll emphasize material that will be on the exams. This saves your student from pouring over old notes with no direction.
When life is stressful, it’s extra important to take care of the basic needs. How many hours is your student sleeping? Are they eating a relatively clean diet? When the weather is this nice and it’s so close to summer, it’s especially tempting for students to stay out late with friends, roll out of bed for school with no time to spare, and grab Pop Tarts for breakfast as they head out the door. The next two weeks, it’s vital they sleep 8 hours a night, eat well, and of course, exercise.
How are you breaking up study sessions? Is your student hyperactive or inattentive if they’re sitting too long? Our easy fix is movement: something active to break up the studying. Help your student with movement that’s comfortable for them: shadow boxing, throwing a football, riding a stationary bike, etc. If they’re uninterested in something really active, encourage them to go for a walk. They’ll get the benefits of movement, fresh air, and vitamin D.
These tips are not groundbreaking, but it’s helpful to remind ourselves that these are the things in our power to help our students succeed in the coming weeks. Please reach out to us if you have questions about your student specifically and anything else they need to do before they take their tests!