Being organized and prepares for tests and exams can make all the difference in how well students perform on them. Oxford Learning has five important tips to follow to help ensure effective studying.
Talk to teachers
Teachers love it when students ask them questions. Students should talk to their teachers after class and ask for an outline of the exam. Know the key areas on which to focus studying. Teachers may even offer exact questions that will be on the exam (or they may tell you nothing). It is worth asking though. Students may even get extra marks on the exam for their effort.
Ensure notes are complete
Most students have missed at least one class or dozed off a couple of times. Talk to friends, teachers or anyone who may have any missing information needed to study for a test or exam.
Make studying much less overwhelming by condensing notes and textbooks by creating mind maps or writing jot notes.
Create a study schedule
Plan study time considering the weight of each test or exam and current grades. Portion an approximate number of hours of studying for each exam. Record study days and number of hours in a planning calendar. Remember to do a weekly summary.
That’s correct! Study in half hour increments, taking 10 to 15 minutes breaks. This will make studying more effective and provide more realistic study goals. Don’t commit to studying for large blocks of time.
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A common myth is that once students are in the second semester of their junior year of secondary school, it’s too late to improve their grades.
The truth is that most colleges and universities look for a trend in high school academic performance and place a lot of importance on improvement in grades during the second semester of a student’s junior year.
Even if your child started out poorly (freshman English was not supposed to be that tough) or faltered along the way (he/she was totally convinced the tenth grade biology teacher ’had it in’ for him/her), a trend of improvement can help erase poor freshman or sophomore year grades. Admissions officers are much more likely to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that students got their act together as secondary school progressed.
The weight placed on grades gradually increases, making first semester senior year the most important, then second semester junior year. Depending on when your teen applies to college or university, one of these sets of grades will be the last ones admissions officers see and the marks most likely to represent an accurate measure of your child’s ability and work ethic.
The good news is, if you act now, there’s still time to do what’s necessary to improve a grade point average: stay in some weekends to study, go to teachers for help, do an extra credit assignment, or invest in a tutoring program such as the Oxford Learning Advantage High School Success™ program.
At Oxford Learning, our exclusive Dynamic Diagnostic Assessment™ pinpoints any weaknesses in how your teen learns. Then, we individualize a program to teach him/her to achieve his/her full academic potential by working smarter, conquering homework, studying effectively for tests and exams and writing brilliant essays. Advantage High School Success™ will prepare your child for success in the upper grades and college or university and build the skills required for graduate school success.
For more information, click here
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Successful Parent-Teacher Interviews:
The Parent-Teacher Interview. Those four words can raise anxiety levels among both students and parents. However this interview can be highly beneficial to your child-s school year success. By following our key steps to success, parents can make the interview a more informative and rewarding experience.
Hopefully you’ve read our previous posts about preparing for the parent-teacher interview and getting the most from the interview itself. But, all of this effort may go for naught unless you have a plan to follow-up.
The Follow-up Action Plan
Agree on an action plan
Before you leave, summarize the key learnings and identify next steps. It is important that you and the teacher agree on the same goals for your child and outline the next steps that need to be taken. Successful goal setting means that goals are achievable, measurable and believable.
- Achievable: Goals need to be set at a level that is more advanced than the level the child is currently working at, but not so advanced that they are unachievable or beyond reach.
- Measurable: Goals need to be measurable so that parents, students and the teacher are able to track progress and success.
- Believable: Children must believe in the goal and believe in their ability to achieve it for success.
Set a date for you to follow up
Once a plan of action has been established, ensure this is monitored.
Monthly reviews of how your child stands against these goals are a great way to keep the momentum moving forward. It’s also a great way to measure your child’s success and progress in achieving his/her goals because it gives him/her a timeline to work towards.
Most importantly, before leaving the interview, set a firm date to follow up and meet with the teacher again so you can review your child’s improvements and ensure he/she is on track (for example, if the interview is in November, schedule a follow-up just before the holidays).
Ask about alternative help
Ask about alternatives. Do not be afraid to ask if extra help, such as a supplemental educational program from Oxford Learning, would benefit your child. You can also talk to student services or the principal about meeting with an education expert for advice and guidance.
“Nothing motivates a child more than a home where learning is valued,” says Kelley McGregor, Director of Training and Operation, Oxford Learning. “If parents show a close interest in their children’s school progress, help with homework and home projects, and attend their children’s school performances and sports events, their children are more likely to have higher student achievement, higher aspirations, better attendance, and a more positive relationship with their teachers.”
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Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions to improve ourselves by losing weight or quitting smoking or exercising more. But what about resolutions to improve your mind? Here are a few learning resolutions, some small and easy, some a little more difficult. Whether you’re six years old or 60 years old, doing just one of these resolutions will leave smarter at the end of 2006 and you are at the start. Doing more than one will definitely make your mind stronger and your life richer and more interesting.
- Learn one new word every week.
- Learn one new skill every month (a massage technique, how to can your own produce, how to program your VCR – the opportunities are endless).
- Start a diary and keep it going daily or weekly for one year.
- Learn a new computer program every few months. Or at least make an effort every week to learn something more about a program you already use (either a short cut to use it more effectively, or a new command or option that you’ve never used before).
- If there’s a subject, topic, current event, company, product or country you’d like to know more about, make it your goal to become an expert. Whether it’s the Middle East or composting, in only 12 months, if you put your mind to it, you can become the most knowledgeable person on a specific subject within your peer group.
Remember, the keys to achieving your New Year’s learning resolutions are to start right away, and to make a simple plan for achieving the goals you set. If your goal is to learn a new word each week, figure out interesting ways to do it. Do a crossword puzzle, read a magazine you’ve never read before, pick up a thesaurus or visit one online and search out a new word.
You may even discover that with some resolutions, simply devising a process to achieve the goal you’ve chosen will teach you more than the goal itself.
Good luck with your New Year’s learning resolutions. Have a safe, happy 2006.
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