Effective Studying

Helping students prepare for exams can be rather challenging. Review sessions in class certainly have their merit as do review sheets, but what about when you send your students home? What tips can you give them for effective study sessions?

The first is to create a space specifically for studying. Inform your students that a well-lit room away from distractions such as televisions, gaming systems, or places where people tend to congregate provides the most effective environment for test prep. Tell your students to gather all materials they need before they crack the books: pencils, highlighters, textbooks, notes, PowerPoint slides, even a drink of water. It’s amazing how much time can be wasted by being unprepared. Inform your students of helpful study tools that will make their studying more effective. Flip sheets are simple to make and provide a way to keep all material to be learned in one place. All you need is a piece of lined paper folded in half lengthwise (hot dog style). In the first column, place a vocabulary word, term, or concept and on the corresponding line(s) of the second column, write its definition or identifying characteristics. Philip McIntosh and Debbie DeSpirt, Suite101 contributors, have written helpful articles on the importance of flash cards and proper preparation. While you can’t do the work for them, do the best you can to equip your students with the tools for success!

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