5 Tips for Finals Prep Your Students Will Thank You For
19 April, 2021
For teachers, to prep students for finals can become another balancing act. Teachers have to make the most of limited class time while also determining how much help can be given to these students. Studies showed that 68.8% of students study for less than 5 hours, and only 2.5% of students study for over 10 hours.
As the end of the school year comes, exams and finals are not too far behind and quickly approaching. The stress, the preparation, the revision, the paperwork, the race to covering the curriculum in time. This is as tough of a time for teachers as it is for students. So we’ve come up with some ways to help teachers prepare their students for finals and reduce the amount of stress along the way.
1 - KEEP STUDENTS INFORMED
Teachers must learn to balance the constant need to help their students be fully prepared for exams and finals, and the need to teach them the ability to study independently before they graduate into the real world. This is why there is a difference in how much help teachers provide students depending on their age. When it comes to finals preparation, a 6th grader will be more likely to receive more help from teachers than a student who is in his senior year.
However, regardless of their age or grade, teachers should always keep students as informed as possible, in order for students to maximize their study-time. This can be done by ensuring that all students are aware of the main topics that will be covered in the exams or finals, because it’s always helpful to provide students with a clear view and understanding of what they need to be studying for.
2 - GAMIFY YOUR ONLINE CLASSROOM
Students love games - who doesn’t, right? Integrating games into revision time is an effective strategy for teachers to capture students' attention and increase their engagement when preparing for exams. Keep in mind that this can become a slippery slope to a time-waster.
You can find yourself spending most of the time explaining the rules, maintaining order and reducing chaos among your students in your virtual classroom. So make sure that you only play review games that don’t divert from and are more focused on the topic at hand - the review questions! Here are some effective review games that are commonly used to shake things up and maintain your students’ interest in learning.
3 - TIPS THAT'LL DO THE TRICK
Sometimes students just need that extra bit of help, and as teachers with more knowledge, wisdom and experience, you can provide that extra help. You could share some tips that have helped you study for finals when you were once yourself a student. You can share successful study methods of your previous students, provide helpful videos, revision techniques that fit their learning style, among many other tips. Some students prefer note-taking over reciting Not only will this help the students, but when students notice that you’re actively doing more than the norm, you gain their trust and that in turn increases their self esteem and confidence.
4 - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Provide worksheets or practice exams that review the material that will be included in the exam. It is also recommended to encourage students to practice in groups. Another form of practice would be testing how familiar they are with the learning material through a practice exam. Nearing exam day, sit your students down for a practice run - a short, ungraded practice test with questions similar to the ones that could be in the actual exam. You can then go through it with them in the second half of the class. This will allow students to test their knowledge and be aware of how prepared they are for finals.
Moreover, in-class discussions can help encourage independent and analytical thinking in students, which can boost their confidence in their abilities and assigning homework between revision classes can increase their motivation to begin revising early on as opposed to the day before the exam.
5 - EMPOWER THROUGH POSITIVITY
Exams can take a toll on students’ physical and mental health. It is known that one of the most common fears students have when entering their examination hall is forgetting everything they’ve studied or revised in preparation for this exam. The fear of their minds going completely blank when it comes down to the wire. To help your students manage their stress during finals, as well as stress in the exam room, you can acknowledge when there is a problem.
Moreover, while 60% of students in a recent study conveyed that there were no symptoms of depression, 7.5% of these students had depression. Test anxiety is a very real thing that many students over the world go through, especially at the end of the school year. Understanding what it is that students go through will allow you to help your students that are struggling with it.
In addition, especially when it comes to younger students, if you let the stress of teaching get the best of you, they will take notice, and it will also have an effect on their own mental health and well being. Younger students often follow their teacher’s lead and they look to you for model behavior, especially since they see you for most of their day. So if you let the standardized testing stress get to you, you will notice that your students have somehow mirrored the same type of stress. Be positive, especially around your students and encourage them to stay mindful, remind your students that you believe in their abilities and empower them to keep doing their best at all times and emphasize on the process, not the results.
AN OWL'S OPINION
Exam times and finals can be pretty intimidating for students and very hectic for teachers. Consequently, students should be consistently focused on their studies throughout the school year. However, revision classes nearing the end of the school year do help them prepare for their exams. Teachers need to reassure their students that their minds are more than capable of storing a variety of information as well as comprehending it and remembering it.
With these helpful tips to prepare your students for finals, you can make it easier for them to grasp and understand more than they normally would during these stressful weeks. Remember that it all comes down to effectively communicating with your students, especially during finals week, to ensure that they are aware that you are here to help and guide them towards success. At the end of the day, communication is the true primary component to getting through to your students and better communication leads to better education.
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Hadeel Al Haddad
The Digital Marketing Owl. The passionate bookworm/book-owl that runs on caffeine and loves soulful music. As a morning Owl, I'm at my creative peak while the sun is still up. I'm a wordsmith who enjoys writing, traveling and making punny dad jokes. Yes, seriously!