How to pass your child's final exam review

This week is final exam week at my school (I teach at a private school which has waaay less than 180 days of school). Regardless of the length of school year, a final exam is a final exam. My 7th graders have been preparing non-stop for their Pre-Algebra exam. Sure, they're extremely scared and nervous. I'm trying my best to make sure they are prepared so they don't have to cram the night before. In addition to teacher support and student-led studying, parents can help their child or children get ready for the test.

Here are some of the tips offered by the Internet (and from my own experience with my students)

  1. Know your child's material: review their homework or look at their textbook. Ask them questions or at least help quiz them. If you know what they are working on, you can better help them prepare. If you think it is too late, because you haven't done this the whole year, it is never too late to start now.

  2. Ask your children to be truthful and open up about what test(s) they're are most nervous about and what they feel comfortable with. First, check if their comfort matches their grades. Some kids have unrealistic views of their abilities. Secondly, if they express more apprehension about math, for example, ask them to itemize what areas of math they need most help with. That way you can help them organize and structure their study time.

  3. Your child should also make their own outline of the topics from the year. They should use their memory and their textbooks/notes to refer back to previous topics.

  4. Ask your child to explain to you what they have learned. Ask them to "teach" you how to do something. If they can teach it, then they know it.

  5. Restrict TV, Computer and Video Game use. Don't take it away completely. Children need an outlet to vent off studying steam or to relax. Give them blocks of time to study and blocks to take a break. If your children need structure in their day, 30 minute studying with 5 minute breaks are useful schedules to create.

  6. With about 2 weeks left before the exams, have your child do an extra 10 minutes of review each night. If math is their weak subject, they can do 20 minutes. Examples of extra practice: if the teacher assigns the odds, have your child do the evens; there are always chapter pages in the back of the book for extra work; the chapter tests are also good places to review.

  7. Create a good study environment. If your child never once did their homework at the kitchen table, start now! You need to monitor how they do the work. If there are siblings sharing a room, give them their own quiet space either in the family room or in a spare bedroom. Offer healthy snacks: veggies and dip, cold Popsicle, yogurt with fruit, pitas with hummus.

  8. Even with the extra practice in your child's textbook, you can access tests and worksheets for any subject. Some sites are free where others require a year membership but full access to a myriad of handouts. Some good examples are:
    1. (starting at $19.99 for a year)
    3. (Pre-K through 5th grade)
    4. (starting at $35 for a year)
Most of all, it is important that your child gets rest before the exams. There is no point cramming in info just to get studying in. If you have been preparing for a good length of time, there is no need to do any last minute, last ditch efforts. It'll just create more stress.

The morning of the exams, your child should have a fulfilling and healthy breakfast. Foods that are LOW on the Glycemic Index. Stay away from caffeine! Some good brain food are: apples, oatmeal, eggs, banana, peanut butter on toast, and milk or juice. Click here to read more on the subject.

Good luck parents and kids! Summer is near!

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