The transition from elementary school to middle school or junior high school can be a daunting experience for many students. After all, for many children it is the first time that they move from class to class without a teacher or school accompaniment. Students learn from a variety of teachers with different subject areas and teaching techniques. Also, they’re more likely to mingle with large numbers of students than their small class cohort.
However, one of the most difficult transitions for many students making the leap to junior high is preparing for exams. Parents often ask, “How should my child study for an exam?” hoping that there is some secret strategy that will guarantee their child’s success in exams. Unfortunately, there is no uniform technique for test preparation. That being said, here are a few helpful ideas that can reduce your child’s (and yours too) stress levels and hopefully increase their overall performance.
Have a plan and get organized
Chances are, your child will get homework in almost every subject over the course of any given week. Help your child create a calendar where they can write down due dates for assignments as well as all of their extracurricular activities. This gives the student a chance to visually see how many days they have to prepare for an upcoming test. It is also valuable as the child sees the other chores and activities they need to do in addition to preparing for exams. Additionally, this will help you and your child see if they will have multiple tests on any given day.
Even if your child has trouble remembering their homework or has a habit of leaving their homework notebook at school, most schools have homework and assignments listed online and are available for parents and guardians. Familiarize yourself with your child’s school homework page so you can help them fill their calendar with all the important information.
Remember that middle school students are notorious procrastinators. When they see on Monday that a teacher has a test for Friday, they think they don’t have to prepare for that test until Thursday evening. Cramming doesn’t work! As you jump into junior high, the amount of information the student is given increases exponentially and there is too much information to cramme the night before an exam. Try to help your child break the task up into manageable chunks of time as they study. It’s much easier and less nerve-wracking to study for an hour a day for three days than trying to study for three hours the night before an exam. Therefore, have your child mark the days before the exam date in their calendar so that they can start preparing for the exam at least two or three days before the exam.
Encourage them to “find” time. alone
One of the biggest alibis middle school students have for poor test performance is that they didn’t have time to study for the test. It is true that most children are involved in multiple activities, both inside and outside of school, all of which require a significant investment of time. However, there are times throughout the day when students can find material. This can be in a classroom, a few minutes after lunch, or in the car on the way to soccer practice. The aim is to encourage your child to repeat the material as often as possible. While I understand that this is easier said than done, ten minutes here and there can make all the difference. Repetition of the main concepts is key.
Repetition develops talent
It doesn’t matter if your child is trying to learn a new musical number for the piano, trying to memorize lines for the upcoming school play, working on their penalty kick, or trying to throw the perfect curveball, repetition is always key. Too often, because students reread the chapter the night before the exam, they think they have “studied” and are prepared. You have to continuously familiarize yourself with the material. Regardless of the subject, the more students deal with the material, the greater their chances of success. After all, we don’t expect them to master a piece of music after playing it just once, so why should we expect the same from school content?
Find the method that works best for your child
There are many different ways a student can study for a test, such as:
· Read the text again
· Participation in the textbook practice tests
· Creation of his own study guide
· Rewriting their class notes
· Be interviewed by another person
· Search for online practice quizzes
All of these are viable test preparation strategies, but the key here is for the child to find the strategy that works best for them. Rinsing takes some time. Every child learns differently, and each must find the path (or paths) that gives them the best chance of success. A child’s preferred method may be any of the strategies above, or it could be a combination of the strategies, or it could be a strategy that doesn’t even appear on the list. It doesn’t matter which strategy the student chooses, as long as it works consistently and is sustainable. Encourage your child to play with different strategies to find the methods that best suit their learning style. And if your child isn’t getting the results they want, don’t be afraid to encourage them to experiment with different methods. Keep experimenting until he finds the one method that gives the desired results. After all, he must have decent study skills far beyond middle school level. The goal here is to help your child prepare for an exam with confidence by the time they enter high school.
And of course, the stakes only go up from there.
Thanks to Steve Maiolo | #Transitioning #Elementary #School #Middle #School #Study #Strategies