As the school year draws to a close, students are preparing for their End of Grade tests (EOGs). While taking an entire test on a subject for all of the coursework studied in the past year can be daunting, there are a few steps parents can take to help prepare their children for the EOGs. This is the second article in our series on preparing for the EOGs!
Studying can be a frustrating, eye-gougingly tedious process for any student, young or old; but there are a few approaches students can take to make sure they have effective studying habits. Academics Plus, Inc. suggests these tips for anyone who wants to study effectively!
- Find a method that works for you. IIt seems simple, but it can often be the hardest part of studying. Different students learn in different ways. Some students find that flashcards help them learn because they remember the pictures easily, while others find writing their notes over twice helps them remember certain concepts. If you’re unsure of what method works for you, try to find out what type of learner you are! Most learning styles separate into three main types: visual, auditory, and tactile. There are several quizzes you can find online for free such as this quiz that will ask you a series of questions to determine your learning style, or you may know right away what type of learning style you favor. You may even be a combination of learning styles. Once you know how you learn, you can create your own approach to studying that works best for you.
- Try different ways of studying. So you think you’re an auditory learner? Try creating your own song about a lesson or hum a tune that helps you spell out a word in song. If you’re a visual learner, try drawing pictures to identify words or definitions, or close your eyes and imagine the definition in action. If you’re a tactile learner, try using clay to mold images that fit the item you want to learn. You can only find the best way of studying if you try different methods. It’s best to do this during homework time and not right before a test, that way you can discover which way allows you to process and remember information the best. Some schools introduce different methods of studying to children and allow them to find the one that works best for them. If you’re not sure what works, try all three! Saying, seeing, and writing something at the same time is often the best way to learn it. For example, when you need to know vocabulary terms, formulas, names and dates, or any small piece of knowledge, try writing and saying the item to be learned while looking at a representation of the item. For the formula here, imagine following the procedure just outlined: Formula: Perimeter = L.W. Repeat the formula while copying: Say, “Perimeter equals length times width” while copying the formula as written. While this method while not help with the eye-gouging tediousness aspect of studying, it will help you learn better and faster.
- Study as often as possible. Every homework assignment or quiz that you are given throughout the class is an opportunity to study. The fresher you keep the material you have in your head, the easier it is to remember. For EOGs, reviewing previous chapters or lessons can be an incredibly effective way of remembering information. Re-reading or re-writing notes may be an effective way of reviewing what you have done. Apply your learning style and your best method of study routinely. If you remember things great with flashcards, be sure to keep your old ones. Or, if it will help you review better, go back and create new flashcards. The more regular contact you have with any material, the better you will know it. It takes commitment and discipline- meaningful success of any sort does, so you might as well get used to it. But what if you haven’t been studying as often as possible, and the EOGs are looming?
- Don’t cram. While this may be effective for short term quizzes, it’s proven ineffective for the long term learning and retention. The best approach to studying for the EOGs is to get studying as early as possible and revisit material over a period of time, rather than trying to memorize it all a few days prior to, or even the night before, the test.
- Get enough rest.This seems like a no-brainer, and for the most part it is! Making sure you’re healthy is incredibly important. While scientists don’t know everything about how sleep regenerates the brain, there is plenty of evidencethat suggests that a lack of sleep inhibits memory and affects concentration. But don’t just make sure to get enough rest the night before the test- ensure you get enough sleep consistently. While it may be very common for students to stay up all night studying, there is increasing evidence that there is a link between sleep deprivation and poorer grades. So while it may seem like a good idea to spend an extra half hour before bed going through your flashcards again, you may be doing more harm than good if you are sacrificing sleep to do it!
- Test yourself. While pop quizzes are sometimes the bane of students, they serve a good purpose. Don’t let your teacher be the only one that tests you. Chances are, you can find practice or review questions in your textbooks, or you can even do a search online for example quizzes in the subject area of your choice! If you’re preparing for your EOGs over a period of time, try spending twenty minutes every night answering practice or review questions from previous chapters! While this may seem incredibly daunting, at the end, if you continue to test yourself as you’re learning new things, it will become second nature. You may also find that testing yourself frequently helps you remember new information about whatever you’re studying! If it helps, study with a friend who can keep you on task and ask you questions you haven’t thought of.
- Learn from your mistakes. If you got an assignment or question wrong, find out why. Ask your professors or teachers where to re-learn the information. While it can be disheartening to fail or lose points, if you don’t correct yourself and re-learn the information, you can find yourself making the same mistake in the future. Wrong answers that aren’t learned from are like leftovers- it may take a while, but you’ll regret not dealing with them early on. Many people find it helpful to review all of their wrong answers in handouts and assignments from previous lessons. Make sure to learn from your mistakes and remember that it’s okay to make mistakes.
- Relax. Panicking about the EOGs is understandable, but unfortunately it doesn’t make the obstacle any easier! While some have test anxiety because they may feel or are ill-prepared, there are some who face anxiety when dealing with tests, no matter how prepared they are. There are tons of podcasts and tipsout there that deal with test anxiety, but the most important thing you can do when dealing with test anxiety is remember that your anxiety is just that: anxiety. Just breathe, focus, and remember that you’ve been preparing. Try to keep negative thoughts out of your head by focusing on the positives. Instead of thinking, “Oh no! What’s going to happen if I bomb this test? I’m going to get a bad grade, I can just feel it!” try thinking, “I’ve spent 30 minutes each night going over my lessons. I got a good night’s sleep last night.” Even if you didn’t do perfect on every review, focusing on the positives will allow you to feel more calmly about your test.
If you haven’t begun studying now, it’s definitely not too late! Find your learning style, apply it, and keep testing yourself. If you take these simple steps to heart and make sure that your student (or you as an adult learner) maintains good study habits, you’ll find that preparing for the EOGs isn’t so difficult!
Reader Question – What is your learning style? How do best study? Share your studying techniques with our readers here, or on Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll share them with others who might find your study techniques work for them too!.