Archive for March, 2011

If you want to help your child or teen have stress free final exams, the time to start setting that up is half way through the semester. If your middle or high school student will begin with just a few minutes each week to do some planning and set up work, s/he will be very prepared for finals.

There are 3 primary areas of importance:
1. Create a list and begin gathering and placing the items that will be needed
2. Mark on your calendar the preparation and study days
3. Develop the mindset for a relaxed but alert maximum performance

Create the list. Then gather and place for easy and certain retrieval. Most teachers are delighted when students begin asking early about what they need to know for the final exam. This demonstrates that the student is intentional and committed to doing an excellent job on tests and exams.

Gathering materials is fairly easy for most students. But pay special attention to the phrase “place for easy and certain retrieval.” The critical thing here is to create a very specific place where these items will be placed and stored for use for the exam preparation. When we say a very specific place that means a permenent place. For example you can use a bankers box or file storage box, and these are readily available at most office supply stores. This box could be placed on a bookshelf.

Now it’s time to mark the calendar. Hopefully you are looking at this several weeks in advance of finals. Be sure to mark out an ample number of study days and add in a few extra “option days.” Putting in the option days leaves you just a little flexibiity to allow for putting in very important activities which have not been announced yet. The option days should not be reassigned unless a big event comes up. Then you add that to the calendar. You want to save the option days as long as you can for maximum opportunity for the student.

You want to help your student develop some relaxation techniques. These will need to be developed over time. So you definitely want to start early so the student has time to practice and trust these tools before dealing with the pressure of the exam period itself.

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