No matter how your children and teenagers perform in school – whether their subjects come easy to them or not – test preparation is an important habit to cultivate. Study takes discipline. It takes time, and it takes a plan. Some students try to “fly by the seat of their pants.” This may work for them now, but what happens when they can’t get by with “just enough” anymore? Other students study hard, but they don’t study in the most efficient way. Even more so, just the thought of a test terrifies many students. The American Test Anxieties Association reports that tests and schoolwork are the main cause of stress for a wide majority of students. In fact, between 16 and 20 percent of students suffer from high test anxiety. No matter the student or the situation, encouraging and developing good study habits can only help them in the future.
Here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we care about the success of your students as much as you do. We offer faith-based daycare and tutoring programs for the New River Valley. We want your students to accomplish great things. Their education plays a major role in their accomplishments. With that in mind, this month, we want to discuss test preparation with you. We want to stress the importance of good study habits. We also want to offer you some practical ideas to make your students’ study time more productive.
Why Is Test Preparation So Important?
Hard work and discipline are vitally important to success, but unfortunately, they don’t come naturally. We must cultivate and nurture these traits in our own lives, as well as in the lives of our children and teenagers. We want to see them give it their all. But we are not the only ones. In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 9:10a reads, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” This thought includes schoolwork and tests. God wants your students to give it their all, too.
To do your best on a test and schoolwork, you have to prepare. Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, once famously said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Any person who has achieved success in life has disciplined themselves to prepare. A championship on the basketball court, baseball diamond, or football field was preceded by hours and hours of practice. The same is true for musical achievements. In fact, there is an old joke which says, “Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.” Business achievements? Preparation. An applauded speech? Preparation. It is only logical that scholastic success will follow the exact same principle. Prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more! It is so much better – and much less stressful – to enter a classroom for a test after studying the subject well. With that truth in mind, what are some good, productive, and efficient study habits?
Here Are Some Helpful, Practical Study Tips
To make the most of your or your student’s study time, here are a few practical tips to remember for test preparation:
- Start your study and preparation long before you know about a test. You may ask, “How is this even possible?” Successful students study over time; they don’t just “cram.” Also, take good notes in class. Pay special attention to any facts the teacher or professor may highlight in their lecture or write on the board. If you miss something, consult the teacher afterward. Keep those notes organized, read them, and re-read them again. This will also help guard against the stress of the nefarious “pop quiz.”
- Use good time management. Plan out how much time you need for each of your subjects. A detailed plan will help to check that overwhelming feeling of desperation and stress. Is it a small quiz or a mid-term? Is it a subject you know well or is it unfamiliar to you? Answering these questions can help you decide how much time to devote to the particular subject. Along with those thoughts, remember to take breaks. An all-night “cram” session will not help anyone. People can only fully concentrate for a certain amount of time. Break up those study hours.
- Split large topics apart. Some subjects can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when you study for a mid-term or a final. Breaking these subjects apart and studying those parts separately can reduce stress and help you to better retain the information. Just remember to take it step by step. You can’t climb Mount Everest with one giant leap.
- Find a routine that works for you. Everybody is unique. What works for some people may not work for others. Don’t necessarily look at the study habits of the top student in your class and try to mimic them. Some of their habits may work for you, but some may hinder you, too. Find what works for you. Is there a time of day when you are more successful with your test preparation? Is your house noisy? Do you need to find a quiet place, free from distractions? Look for patterns in your study time that seem to bring out the best in you, and use that information to form a plan.
- Don’t procrastinate. Nothing good ever comes from waiting until the last possible minute. You put it off, you put it off, you put it off, and then comes the stress. You cram all night. You didn’t get a good night’s sleep. You’re drowning in information. This is not the ideal way to take a test. It’s a fact of life; some people are “go-getters,” and some people are procrastinators. If you are in the latter group, you don’t have to stay that way. Discover methods to help you do better and not put off work. Maybe, you need to organize better. Maybe, you just have to discipline yourself. Beat that bad habit of procrastination.
- Study together. You may have a friend who is better than you at math. You may be better in U.S. history. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Combine your knowledge, and help each other to better understand your school subjects. Study for your tests together. But make sure to discipline yourself to actually study. The temptation will be real to just hang out and relax.
Come to The R.O.C.K. Club for Exceptional Tutoring Services
If your child needs more help with their study habits and test preparation, visit us today at The R.O.C.K. Club. We are a faith-based daycare and educational support program in Radford, VA, serving Virginia’s New River Valley. We offer a tutoring program to help children in first through sixth grades with their homework, study skills and organization, individual learning assistance, and support in different school subjects. As we stated before, we want to see your student succeed at life, as well as their education. That is why we are proud to provide faith-based services, such as tutoring. Has study time frustrated you? Let our expert staff at The R.O.C.K. Club help you.
For more information on the benefits of faith-based tutoring services, or to discover how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call The R.O.C.K. Club today at (540) 267-3000. We can help your student to achieve their full potential, including test preparation.