The (Dis) Organized Teenager – Exam Time!

Here is comes folks. All us semestered families are heading for the last stretch of the semester and the big E word: Exams.

For some teenagers exams are just another opportunity to show off how much they know and how much fun they had studying. Not my teenager. She is having fun alright: at the swim meet, the ski hills and movie nights at a friend’s house. So how do we instill the discipline to study and review all that must know information in order to encourage the best opportunity for success in our teens?

Here are some tips for your teen to set themselves up for success:

Step 1 – Establish a list of all the material that will be covered in the exam. If you aren’t sure, check in with the teachers before the term is over. Once classes are out they are harder to find. Most curriculum is broken into units providing a natural way to organize and list the material. A term is likely about 10 – 13 units. Review the list and your notes. Do you have all the information you need to study? Do you need to pick up notes from a friend or teacher for classes you missed?

Step 2 – Break down the material into the time you have to review it. If you have 5 days to study for 4 exams and 4 hours a day, you may choose to use one hour a day per subject. For ten units that would be 2 units per day. Did I loose you on the math? Simplify: Break down the material into bite size chunks for which you have the time.

Step 3 – Remove all other distractions (cell phone, ipod), be rested, well fed and take frequent breaks. Most adults can concentrate for about 45 minutes. Expect your teen to get up and move at least every 45 minutes.

Step 4 – Review, repeat. Review, repeat. Familiarity will assist with recall.

Good luck!

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