Tests

Deep Dive: honed notes

The main purpose of honing notes is to refine them and make them your own. There are many ways to hone your in class notes. Sometimes honing your notes makes them longer, sometimes it makes them shorter. They should NOT be a neater recopied version of the in-class notes. The key is to learn how you want to sharpen your notes in a variety of classes because not all classes are the same. Building intuition around in class and honed…

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Learning Levels and Test Prep

Check out the learning levels introduction video before watching this video. Understanding learning levels can help us prepare for exams.  Because we do not teach study skills most students assume that most tests about remembering facts.  While students do need to know basic facts their tests are often asking them to master the material at a higher level.  Watch the video to see how understanding learning levels can help increase your tests scores. Like 0

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Increasing Your Test Scores: Finding Material Gaps

Do you ever feel like you are studying for tests and doing all of your homework but not getting the scores that you want? This is an incredibly frustrating situation and often the advice is to “study harder” or to “study longer” but these approaches do not always work.  Watch the video below to explore why some classes are harder to study for and what you can do about it.   Like 0

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Study Strategies: Power of Self-Testing

Do you ever study for a test and you do not score well? We often focus on how to get information into our brains, rarely talk about how getting information out of our brains. Getting information out of our brains is important because what tests measure is how well we can get information out of our brains.  This gap is puzzling because we have over 200 years or research that demonstrates the positive impact of self-testing. This study method can…

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Analyzing Papers, Projects, and Tests

When students get an assessment back it is very common for parents and teachers to help them analyze their work. This process can help students critically examine their work, effort, and approach.  I explain how we can modify this process and help students become more self-reflective and open to critical feedback. When students can pinpoint what went well they can start to build mental models and study habits around their success.  Many students have never been asked to reflect on what…

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Finals: Success Story

I wanted to share a fantastic story of a student that I coached through preparing for her high school finals. This was her first experience studying for finals, and she wanted to do well.  However, she was very resistant to the idea of adding new study strategies, because she was convinced that she could do well with her usual methods. We came up with a plan to test her theory. We decided to randomly divide her classes into two categories, my…

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Studying for Open Note Exams

How do you prepare for an open note exam? Every finals season I have students who are convinced that they do not need to study for their open note/book exams. They are often under the impression that because they have access to resources during the test that they do not need to prepare. They are unaware of the lurking danger of open note tests; that they will run out of time to complete their exam. Students generally run out of…

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