Archive for April, 2011

Action study skills are especially important to students at final exam time. Why is this true and how can you access these valuable skills for your student? Most students are geared toward action. Many like to move around instead of sitting still. Action study skills help break up periods of concentration and because of that students are able to learn more in a shorter period of time. Many students are very happy to find ways to learn academic material that include physical movement but for most it is a real surprise how much more they can get out of their dedicated study time using these skills.

For any student it is always best if they can study in the most effective way possible for their particular learning style and learning profile. That way the student can make best possible use of the limited study time s/he has available and deliver the maximum performance in the classroom and on tests and exams.

The more comfortable a student feels with a learning action, the more thoroughly s/he will learn the material. It is important to notice here the words “learning action” and this does not mean “I have the book open and I am highlighting or underlining what looks important in every few lines in the text.” Half asleep or tuned out highlighting or underlining does very little to help the student actually learn the material.

In action study skills we want to both engage the mind and move the body. An example of an action study skill is this.

Easy, medium and hard stacks of 3×5 cards is a very simple skill with very strong benefits. The student writes useful questions on one side of the card and the answer on the back of the same card. In addition you want to build in visual cues such as using different colors of markers on each side of the card. Perhaps you would write all the questions in red and all the answers on the back of the card in green. You can also use block printing on the front and cursive on the back. Next you go through the cards, reading the question on the front and then answering the question out loud. Then you turn the card over and look at the back and see how close your answer was to the correct answer you wrote on the back of the card.

You then put each card in the appropriate stack, easy, medium or hard. This sorting process makes the student aware of how well s/he is grasping the material. It also allows the bulk of the student’s time to be spent on the questions that actually need more work instead of having to go through things that no longer need attention. This is efficiency in action.

What is important is the engagement of the mind in a questioning and critical thinking process. It is important for the student to consider what s/he is reading and to mentally ask questions about it. What does it mean? Why is it important? Why did that happen? Why does that work that way?

Another important part of the learning process is to gather some facts and information from lectures or reading, and then form questions and ideas about that information. That is called “creating a hypothesis” and “hypothesis testing.” You are thinking about how something probably works and why it might or might not work in the manner you think it does. These are not only very valuable skills for doing well on tests and exams, but also considered top quality business skills.

The powerful immediate benefit to the student, especially at final exam time, is that it makes all academic material much easier to understand and REMEMBER! ( Often memorizing academic material is not a favorite with busy students.)

Categories : Final Exams
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For ADD/ADHD students, final exams, and the end of another school year are all coming soon. Throw in the fact that spring sports and social activities are starting to peak and you have a very exciting time! The core question for parents of ADD/ADHD students is: will this grand finale for the school year be a triumph or a train wreck?!

There are many things caring and commited parents can do to help their ADD/ADHD students survive and thrive in this extremely challenging time. If you have been with us here at Pace-It, you know we advocate starting as early as you can to get a plan and system in place for your student.

In the exact same way as successful athletic coaches carefully plan and execute each and every event that happens at their practice sessions, you want to have a plan for your student to do his or her best on final exams.

The right planning and execution for this year end academic challenge can actually translate into an increased level of confidence overall for your student. If you provide the right kind of support for your child or teen at this critical time of the year it can pay great dividends for completing this school year with a victory! How sweet is that?!

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Success on tests and exams comes in large part from doing the right things at the the right time, and doing them in the right way. While this seems simple there is one key action that is frequently left undone and it can make the whole test preparation process feel more manageable.

When you think of your child or teen preparing for tests or exams you typically think of things such as reading the material, answering questions, maybe making flash cards, taking notes and so on. There is actually a very simple tactic that is usually overlooked in the quest for success on tests and exams.

The key question is: Did (s)he start on a clear playing field? We are talking here about the students field of vision. What does the student see with his or her eyes? Is she looking at a clean desk with books, papers, notes and materials? Or is she looking at chaos? The difference in these two scenes can have a lot to do with the student’s feeling in general. If the student feels calm and confident the fruits of the study session will be very different than if she feels confused and uncertain.

If your student is looking at stacks of unsorted papers and notes there will be some items in that pile that are vital to success on the upcoming test but they are hidden from view by all the clutter of unrelated or unimportant papers and notes mixed into the pile. If somewhere in that mass of mess of 63 papers are the useful 11 pages the student needs it can be a confusing chore just to sort them out. Then after all that effort there may still be 1 or 2 important notes missing. But who knows. This puts your student at a great disadvantage in studying for the test.

It is a discouraging process to waste lots of your valuable study time just finding what you need to get started. The student can feel guilt and/or frustration. Neither of these feelings put your student in his best form.

But wait! It gets worse. Much worse. It’s bad enough to see the valuable time wasted as your child or teen digs through the piles of papers looking for things. Indeed that is time wasted. Nothing productive is going on there. The most damaging part of this is that the student will feel discouraged and frustrated at their inability to just get to the task at hand. These negative feelings actually impact the student’s brain functioning. He or she will not perform at his or her best even after the searching time is done and the actual study begins. So you will watch your student waste valuable time and drop to a lower performance level.

Weeding out the important papers from the unimportant ones is usually not mentioned at all after your student moves from middle school to high school. Since this vital skill helps your student get a test study session off to a good confident start it is important to be sure your student learns the skill and habit of creating a clean visual space in the study area

This is so astonishingly simple yet rarely addressed. Finding the needle in the haystack. Ugh! How would it be if your student had all of the papers and notes and not a single page more. Not one extra word. Imagine the ease of sitting down to that study session. It’s a piece of cake.

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