Support Your Student – Mid-Terms
March 1, 2017
Spring Break is just around the corner, and our students are so ready for this break to be here. Many of them have several tests and midterms standing in their way and feel like the welcome relief from classes will never arrive. I talked to several students who had four or more tests last week alone. It is officially that time in the semester when our students are feeling overwhelmed and walk around with bags under their eyes. If this describes your student, know that he or she is not alone.
If your student keeps telling you how overwhelmed and stressed they are about tests, here are a few study tips you can feel confident to pass along!
Get Some Sleep
So many students sacrifice sleep for more study time, but studies show that sleep can actually improve memory. It is more advantageous for a student to catch some shut-eye than pull an all-nighter trying to cram more information.
Take a Break
Occasionally students can feel stuck in a study rut- either no longer absorbing information or for writers, the words are no longer flowing. This is absolutely the time to take a break. Often, our brains need a chance to refocus, and we can come back to a problem with a completely new perspective. A good break refocuses the brain to a completely different activity. Helpful breaks include exercising, cooking and eating a meal, or doing some light unrelated reading. Keep in mind that it is important to stick to a schedule with breaks. It is not a good habit to let study breaks go longer than anticipated and contribute to procrastination.
Perhaps your student is taking TOO many breaks. We all know that technology can be both a help and a hindrance to education. For many students, the distracting pull of Facebook and other time-wasting sites can suck precious minutes or hours of studying away. There are many online tools students can download to help them stay focused while studying. For Mac users, SelfControl is a wonderful app that only allows you access to websites within your parameter and blocks sites you request for an allotted period of time. There is no way to undo the block other than to let the time run out. There is also a Chrome extension called StayFocused that accomplishes the same task. Similar applications exist for PCs and smartphones to limit calls, text messages, app usage, and web browsing.
Try a Different Learning Style
Not every student learns the same way. Some students learn best by writing out their notes time and time again, some learn best by using flashcards, and others retain information by listening to their lectures several times. Encourage your student to figure out how he or she learns best. There are four different learning styles: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and read & write. Not every student fits into one of these boxes, but they can be helpful tools for figuring out how to learn information. Here is more information about learning styles.
The Parent & Family Newsletter and Blog is written by Teal Keller, Coordinator of First & Second Year Experience. If you have parent-related questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.