The Time Is Now

Another school year is coming to a close, but before summer break officially begins, students need to survive and hopefully, thrive, through the end of year exams.

I taught a high school civics class for seven years and during that time I noticed particular habits and behaviors that led to successful results on the cumulative final exam. In an effort to help students reach their potential at the end of the year, here are my final exam tips:   

Start studying now

AP exams are about a month away and final exams are not far behind. Make the time to start the initial studying process. Carve out at least twenty minutes a day to begin to prepare for exams.

Review the material that was most difficult for you first

Rather than working through the content chronologically, focus on studying the information that gave you the most trouble.  Determine if you need more help understanding the concepts and ask the teacher questions that will clarify the material.

Review it again

After completing the initial review of the hard stuff, review it again. Most likely, it is necessary to take this next step to really internalize the content.

Use your resources

Stay after class or after school; use your lunch time; study with friends on the weekend; re-read the course materials; make flashcards; create quizlets

Reward yourself

If you start studying now and resist the temptation to just cram at the end of the semester, offer yourself a reward. Relax after a particularly intense study session. Play a video game or get outside.

Remember the habits that you cultivated throughout the year

Rely on your already strong study skills to take you through the end of the semester. Now is the time to really step it up and put the good habits to use.