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Finals are Coming

With finals just around the corner and the end of year in sight, most kids (teachers and parents too) are just done. They are ready to move into summer. But wait, there is one more hurdle and it's usually a doozy. So, here are a few quick tips that may come in handy as reminders during this final push.

Students don't realize that when studying they need to disconnect and get rid of distractions. Since it only takes a few seconds to look at a text they don't understand that those distractions go beyond those few seconds. It takes 5-7 minutes to re-engage your brain to the level of focus that existed prior to the text distraction. This is time wasted and it is the biggest disrupter to quality studying.

1. Likely, your student has not quite kept up that study habit, but now is not the time to read all the material. Instead, focus on the key concepts by reading the headings of the textbook and the chapter summaries. DO NOT just re-read though This is a passive exercise - instead try to summarize the material in your own words.

2. Turn headings into questions and try to answer them from your understanding

3. Look through your notes for highlighted remarks where the teacher stated "this is important"

4. Create practice tests in the format that is likely to appear on the final. If the teacher is bound to give an essay, come up with essay questions and try to answer them. Quiz yourself, answer end of chapter questions, have someone else quiz you

5. Spaced studying is the most effective. Cramming is like overstuffing a suitcase. Better to study 30 minutes each night over the course of the week than try for 3 hours the night before

6. Review the trickiest material right before you go to sleep to give your brain a chance to process.

7. The night before, do a short review before sleep and get 7-9 hours of rest. Studies show that students who cram up to test time do worse than students who stop studying several hours before. Relaxation is good for the brain

8. Eat a healthy breakfast to fuel your brain. Hydrate to avoid dehydration drowsiness

9. Visualize yourself doing well on the exam. Breathe

10. During the exam, read the questions carefully and actively understand them by circling the verb and watching out for the NEVERS, ALWAYS, ALL BUTs..., move off questions where you are stuck and go back later (often the answers are imbedded in other parts of the test), check over your work

Learning how to study and prepare yourself, your tasks and your time take practice and the teenage brain is not necessarily ready for the challenge without some support. To learn more contact us at 413-341-0221 @myinnernetworks,

@mindsetworks @TED-Ed @edutopia @Brainology @growthmindset @PlayAttention1

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