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Effective Strategies for End-of-Year Testing: 5 Tips for Students

As the month of April begins to dwindle, school-aged students everywhere are gearing up for testing. Whether it's standardized assessments, statewide testing, final exams, or other milestone tests, proper preparation, and a healthy mindset can not only make all the difference in the world but also help students tackle test-taking with confidence.

That said, we're dedicating this #transitiontuesday to helping to ensure your students are prepared!

Here are five tips to help students prepare effectively:

Black Girl College Prep: Test taking tips

1. Be Proactive: First and foremost, procrastination is the enemy of success when it comes to testing or anything else. Think of the relief you feel when you finish early or have your game plan BEFORE the thing you take on. You can prepare well in advance to avoid last-minute cramming and reduce stress. The majority of your milestone tests will cover material that you've studied all year, anyway.

For instance, you can grab and review past test papers, practice questions, or sample exams provided by your teacher or online resources. This is to help you refresh your memory of the material you've studied this school year. Just be sure you're studying items that received an 80 or above grade. Lastly, familiarising yourself with test structures and previous work will help you feel more confident on test day. 

2. Create a Study Schedule: Plan out your study sessions leading up to the test. Break down the material into manageable chunks or by subject matter, and allocate specific times for studying each section. Be sure to include regular breaks to rest and recharge. Having regular, well-organized study sessions might boost your ability to remember information. It may be a good idea to study with a trusted friend (one who won't distract you!).

3. Use Effective Study Techniques: Experiment with different ways to study to find what works best for you. This could include reviewing notes, making flashcards, practicing with online quizzes, or teaching the material to your parent or sibling. Mixing up your study routine can keep things fun and improve your understanding of the material.

I've seen some students really benefit from using flashcards or making a game out of committing things to memory. Others have found it helpful to use online resources or apps like educational videos or interactive quizzes. Whatever the case, see what works for you.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses by reviewing previous assignments, quizzes, and tests—zero in on why you got any previous answers wrong. Allocate more study time to the subjects or topics on which you feel less confident or didn't do well. Don't be afraid to get help from teachers, classmates, or tutors if you struggle with specific concepts.  

4. Practice Time Management: Practice completing sample tests or timed practice sessions to improve your time management skills. Pay attention to how much time you spend on each question, and aim to pace yourself accordingly during the actual test. Time management is essential to make sure you have enough time to respond to every question in depth.

5. Take Care of Yourself: Remember that your well-being is just as important as your academic performance. Do your best and be okay with the outcome (especially if you did the very best you could).

Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious meals, and stay hydrated in the days leading up to the test. Take breaks during study sessions to avoid burnout and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, whether listening to music, walking, or practicing mindfulness. 

And remember to keep a positive mindset. Don't defeat yourself with thoughts like, "What if I fail?" Or telling yourself you're not a good test taker. If you prepare well, you can be.

Negative thoughts are a sure way to fail fast! Maintaining a positive attitude throughout preparation and believing in yourself and your abilities will take you further. Visualize success and focus on your progress rather than dwelling on any setbacks. A positive mindset can go a long way in boosting your confidence and performance on test day.


Remember that testing is just one measure of your academic progress, and regardless of the outcome, your efforts and dedication are worthy of recognition. Good luck!


Coach Rahk


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