By Denise Uy
As students head into 4th quarter, teachers begin to steer their classes into review mode. In addition to the stress of the usual exams, final exams usually cover a broad range of course material that students may not have retained over the course of the school year. Reviewing and preparing for every nook and cranny of a class’s course material may be tedious and unnecessary, so here are some tips and tricks to maximize your time and effort.
Organize. Although simply stated, organization is a key process in a course review. If one were to peer into the bag of an exemplary student, a system of folders and notebooks will most likely be found. One appealing option to a disorganized student may be to sort through old papers and key handouts, and place the important papers into a separate folder. Upon completion of sorting, it would be best to place the handouts within the folder chronologically. A journey through time over the material learned throughout the school year will prove to be efficient and effective. Remember to only place key handouts within your review folder, and keep handouts with redundant information elsewhere–they should only be pulled out if needed.
Pace and Schedule. If classes take ten months to teach, how would it be possible to review all of the curriculum in one or two nights? Take some time to consider two things: the rigor and the class value. Prioritize the classes that pose a bit of a struggle over classes that you naturally excel in. About a month prior to exams, it is advisable to begin studying material from two or three of your hardest classes, and study a bit by bit every night to fully reprocess and review the information that you may have learned all the way back from first quarter!
Relearn and Reteach. Every quarter poses students a few key concepts that they never fully understand or comprehend. When reviewing for final exams, this is the best time to go back through and relearn concepts that were difficult, when first introduced. This may be achieved through taking notes again, peer discussion or online videos. Students often neglect one of their key resources: their teacher. For some, the mere thought of going to a teacher outside of the class may appear intimidating, but remember–teachers are there to help! If all else fails, it may also be a good idea to ask for help from fellow classmates to help walk you through a concept. Even online videos may be helpful if a teacher’s method of teaching sometimes inhibits a student from digesting the information fully.