SUR­VIV­ING MIDTERM MAD­NESS

Keep­ing your teen on an even keel through exams

201 Family - - FRONT PAGE - WRIT­TEN BY AMELIA DUG­GAN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY ANNE-MARIE CARUSO

PLUS:

SMART FOOD

HEALTH TIPS TO BEAT WIN­TER

MER­MAID BED­ROOM

KEEP­ING THE FAITH:

RE­LI­GIOUS ED PRO­GRAMS FOR KIDS WITH SPE­CIAL NEEDS

THE ABCs OF IN­SPI­RA­TION

In Jan­uary, many adults turn their thoughts to New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, such as get­ting healthy, clean­ing the base­ment, find­ing a new hobby and the like. But, if there is a teenager in the house, Jan­uary takes on a whole new mean­ing and it isn’t pretty: midterm mad­ness.

Midterms can ac­count for as much as 25 per­cent of a stu­dent’s grade. That’s a big num­ber! So the stakes are high and peak per­for­mance is im­per­a­tive.

Even though many kids have half days dur­ing exam weeks, they may take two, two-hour tests dur­ing each ses­sion. Can you imag­ine tak­ing the SATs three or four days in a row? Bru­tal!

So how do you keep your teen rested, fo­cused and calm through the midterm exam pe­riod? (And, by the way, the same rules ap­ply for fi­nals!) Here are some tips ob­served after years of watch­ing my own chil­dren not only sur­vive but thrive in the midterm sea­son.

Tim­ing Is Ev­ery­thing

Make a plan that al­lows your teen to pre­pare for the exams over an ex­tended pe­riod of time. Study­ing a lit­tle of each sub­ject each day serves to re­in­force the in­for­ma­tion and im­prove re­ten­tion.

But if there is a pro­cras­ti­na­tor in the house, as so of­ten is the case, let your teen embrace his or her last­minute self and bud­get the time to get to the fin­ish line. Some kids do best closer to test time be­cause they give the ma­te­rial their full at­ten­tion. If that’s your kid, ad­vise them to clear the decks of other work and bat­ten down the hatches just be­fore exam time.

Find The Study Space That Works Best

Teens may have set up a desk in their bed­room with ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary to pre­pare for tests, but it might not serve the pur­pose. If the child feels most com­fort­able (and fo­cused) sprawled out on the bed, then let them do it. Or, if your son or daugh­ter wants to squir­rel him or her­self away in the li­brary to work undis­turbed, then let them. Some stu­dents need white noise when study­ing and pre­pare best with a TV in the back­ground. The per­fect study space is the one that works best for the child.

Avoid Sleep De­pri­va­tion

Cram­ming for exams may seem like a good idea, but in the end, sleep de­pri­va­tion de­creases the po­ten­tial for suc­cess. The Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics warns against sleep de­pri­va­tion as it takes a child sig­nif­i­cant time to re­cover from lost sleep.

Get Or­ga­nized

Be­fore your teen sits down to study, make them inventory all of the texts, notes and other re­sources nec­es­sary to pre­pare. This makes study time fo­cused and ef­fi­cient. And re­mind them of seem­ingly ob­vi­ous things like pen­cils and erasers and the ever-elu­sive charger for the cal­cu­la­tor.

The per­fect study space is the one that works best for the child.

Join A Study Group

Prep­ping with other stu­dents will help teens gauge the ex­tent of their com­pre­hen­sion of the exam ma­te­ri­als. Quizzing each other pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant re­call and con­fi­dence in the level of preparedness. When the stu­dent gets an an­swer wrong, the oth­ers in the group ex­plain the sub­ject, re­in­forc­ing a more con­crete un­der­stand­ing of the ma­te­rial. In ad­di­tion, you may hire a peer tu­tor or a pri­vate tu­tor to help your child.

Say It Loud, Say It Proud

Recit­ing test ma­te­rial may seem silly to some, but many stu­dents’ com­pre­hen­sion is re­in­forced when they say it out loud. This im­proves un­der­stand­ing and re­ten­tion. And don’t laugh at this, but even set­ting the in­for­ma­tion to mu­sic makes it eas­ier to re­call. A stu­dent can sing their way to suc­cess.

Re­view, Re­view And Re­view Some More

Many teens find that while the re­view pack­ets cover the exam ma­te­rial, it’s some­times at a lower level. The ques­tions – par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to math­e­mat­ics – are con­sid­er­ably harder on the ac­tual exam. Stress the im­por­tance of un­der­stand­ing and ap­ply­ing con­cepts – that is the true test of whether the stu­dent com­pre­hends. En­cour­age them to search for more dif­fi­cult prob­lems to see if they can solve them. The In­ter­net is loaded with sam­ple ques­tions to ex­per­i­ment with.

Leave Some Room For Fun

All work and no play…It is im­per­a­tive that your child re­serve some time for leisure ac­tiv­i­ties – in­clud­ing phys­i­cal ex­er­cise. This stim­u­lates dif­fer­ent parts of the brain and can en­hance con­cen­tra­tion.

PLAN IT OUT The stress of midterm exams can be man­age­able when stu­dents have a sound study plan.

10THINGSTO TEACHYOUR DAUGH­TERS BE­FORE COL­LEGE

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.