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Midterms and Finals: Free Strategies and Handouts for Success

For many students, midterms are right around the corner, and learning how to plan for these comprehensive exams can be key to helping them manage test anxiety and achieve the desired grades.

What Can Teachers Do to Help Prepare Students for Midterms and Finals?

     1.     Throughout the Term Encourage Your Students to Create a “Test Preparation Portfolio”:
·      Help your students to create test preparation materials weekly from homework, classwork, notes, handouts and textbooks. 
·      Provide the opportunity for your students to ask questions about prior class content that creates confusion when they are preparing their portfolio.
·      Evaluate each student’s test preparation materials and make recommendations.
     2.     Communicate with Your Students About Upcoming Exams:
·      Inform your students about the exams well in advance and provide a study guide.
·      Inspire your students to organize their materials.  Evaluate their approach and offer recommendations.
·      Encourage your students to create materials such as two column study sheets, index cards, sets on Quizlet and so forth.  Again, evaluate their resources and offer recommendations.
     3.     Help Your Students Estimate the Time Needed to Fully Prepare for Exams:
·      Urge your students to come up with the total time they think it will take to prepare for the test.
·      Encourage your students to create a study schedule that designates reasonable time commitments over a period of time.
     4.     Teach Your Students to Use Memory Strategies:
·      Show your students how to use acronyms to encode and retrieve information.
·      Instruct your students on acrostics.
·      Inform your students how to use images and mental imagery to enhance memory.
·      Teach your students how to use hooking strategies. 
·      For an in-depth look at memory strategies CLICK HERE.
     5.     Help Your Students Determine Whether Working With Others or Working Alone is Best for Them and Encourage All Your Students to Share their Finished Test Preparation Materials:
·      Teach your students that some individuals do better when they work independently, while others thrive when collaborating with peers, parents and teachers.
·      Encourage students to share their preference to work independently or in groups and support their choice. 
·      Help students, that are empowered by interactions, to form study groups.
·      Allow your students to use some class time to prepare for tests so that you can assist study groups as well as those that choose to work independently.
·      Encourage your students to share their ideas, memory strategies and other test preparation creations with the rest of the class.
     6.     Offer Strategies that Students Can Implement Once They have Finished Studying:
·      Teach your students how to manage stress through deep breathing, stretching, and mindfulness practices such as meditation.
·      Urge your students to get a good night’s sleep before the exam.
·      Suggest to your students that they should eat a well-balanced and healthy breakfast the morning of the exam. 
·      Encourage your students to think positively about the test and to visualize their own success. 

To get a free downloadable copy of the two images at the top of this blog CLICK HERE.
To learn more about test preparation strategies as well as other helpful learning tools, consider purchasing Planning Time Management and Organization for Success.  This publication offers methods and materials that guide, and support students in the areas of learning strategies, time management, planning and organization (executive functioning skills).  It includes agendas, questionnaires, checklists, as well as graphic organizers.  You will also find advice and handouts for reading, math, memory, motivation, setting priorities and incentives programs.  These materials were created over a ten-year period for my private practice.  What’s more, the materials accommodate learners of all ages from elementary to college.  Finally, I offer a free sample assessment from the publication too, as well as a free video on executive functioning.  To Access this, select on the orange, free sample assessment button at the following link Click Here 

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  

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