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by Monica Morgan, Guest Blogger
The worst nightmare of every student is probably a final test at their school or college, especially when only one week has left. Sure, it causes stress, anxiety and chronic nervousness as a young person cannot calm down even for a minute. However, the main problem is that only very few of them can prepare to the test successfully and quickly. Although one week seems to be a long term and the majority finds that it is enough to get ready for exams, it is much more complicated to cope with this in reality. You will have to review and remember all the materials you have studied per one year. Sometimes students cannot even imagine how much information they have to learn in such quick terms. Then, one week does not look like a period which is enough to deal with everything necessary for a test.
First of all, it is important to keep in mind that workplace plays a great role in the whole process of preparation. Unfortunately, many students ignore this point and work in noise or messy places. As a result, they have a low productivity and simply waste their time while learning materials without effectiveness and concentration. You can spend your time for studying with a better use. There are some easy but beneficial ways for making your workplace cozy, tidy and, what is the most important, appropriate for learning in several minutes.
It is a typical situation when young people have an awful mess in their bedrooms and places for studying. There are thousands of papers, notebooks and other things on their desks. It is impossible to find something which you really need quickly. Hence, you will waste hours to get a textbook while preparing for a test. It is better to care about this beforehand and solve this problem with simple cleaning your room and putting all documents in the right order. You should divide your desk into sections and sort out everything.
Do not forget that it is important to provide quietness in the place your work. Turn off your phone, music and other distractions. Moreover, you should ask your relatives to avoid disturbing you when you learn things for the test. Hopefully, they will understand such a necessity clearly. Remember that noise may be your worst enemy while studying as it makes you unable to concentrate.
You should create a certain plan of your studying and, do not ignore it while working. A schedule helps you to prioritize your tasks and cope with them quickly and effectively. In case you study irregularly, it will be hard to finish your preparation and reach some significant skills for your test as well. Thus, you have to set the amount of information you should learn per day. For example, you can pick a number of pages in your textbook which you have to read and note. In this way, you will be able to rest and study without tiredness and stress. Having a plan is the best treatment for the time pressure.
It happens that teachers do not give you any examples of questions which will be presented in the test. Hence, you cannot even imagine which kind of tasks you should expect and prepare to. In such a case, it is a good idea to use past tests. The majority of professors do not change the main scheme for years, and you can try to use these materials for preparing to yours. Sure, there may be lots of changes. However, it will let you revise everything one more time and understand the type of questions.
Do not forget that your task is not just to read something or learn it by heart. The main point is understanding the material clearly. Only in this way you can prepare for the test. Hence, you should make notes while reading and then summarize them. Try to retell things in your own words. If you can do it, it means you will not be confused while writing your test. In case you simply learn everything by heart, you will probably forget the majority of this information soon and lose your chance to pass exams successfully.
One more beneficial idea which can help you to memorize information is making some flash cards. Your task is putting down the most significant points on them. It is a good way to learn formulas or grammatical rules. You can use these cards in order to test yourself or ask someone else for help. It can even be a kind of a game when you have to pick a card and then answer the question written on it. Do not put them into a trash bin after passing your test. You can give them to younger students or use some time later as the material used to be repeated at different exams at college.
If you have some close friends in your group, you can ask them to cooperate and prepare to the test together. You should plan your learning as well. In case you have a partner, things are simpler, as you can explain each other some information and study in the form of a game. For example, it is possible to use cards which were mentioned before. It is a pretty good idea to provide a short quiz and ask questions each other. It is beneficial if you have an oral exam. Furthermore, cooperation with your friend will help you to prevent nervousness and disturbance. You will feel that your buddy is ready to support you.
It is significant to remember about regular breaks while preparing to the test. Your target is the prevention of being exhausted and stressed. It will ruin all your efforts and diligence. When a student is nervous and does not have enough sleep, he will not be able to work productively. Hence, you should follow your daily schedule and try to provide a good rest for your body. For example, you can establish a strict time when you should go to bed and recall about it every time you want to study during the night. Abstain from bad habits. Smoking will never help you to get rid of nervousness before exams.
All in all, it is true that preparation to your test may be complicated and take a lot of time in case you are not aware of these tips and secrets. It is proven by dozens of students that a young person can get ready for an exam for one week without sleepless nights and chronic tiredness. However, you should never postpone your preparation until one day is left to your exam. You will not be able to learn anything in such a short period. Hence, you have to keep in mind all important dates in your head or write them in your diary in order to avoid disappointment.
Monica Morgan is a free-spirited woman having vast experience in article writing. She loves to travel Asian countries, writing reviews on each of them on her Hqessays.com. She prefers using diverse writing styles to properly engage with a wide array of readers.
ACT Instructor Terri shows you how to use commas correctly with the introductory clause and phrase.
For more information, visit: Prepped and Polished.com.
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What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast about ACT English Test, Comma Usage-Introductory Clause/Phrase? Do you have any questions for Terri and Alexis Avila?
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WATCH my interview with Stacey Howe-Lott, Videocast here:
On episode 116, Alexis Avila talks to SAT tutor and educator Stacey Howe-Lott. Stacey took the SAT about 45 times, answered approximately 10,000 questions, provided 20,000 explanations, and, has helped more than 500 students improve their scores.Stacey graduated from University of Puget Sound, with a B.A. in English, and has a Masters in Education from University of Virginia.
On today’s episode Stacey talks about her experiences working as an online SAT tutor and gives us a peak into the world of test prep, revealing the good and bad!
Great free SAT resources: PWN the SAT (challenging math), and The Critical Reader (reading and writing)
Advantages to online tutoring: most kids are comfortable online and you spend less time commuting to appointments
Best way for a student to increase his score? Know yourself and your weaknesses, then work on addressing them
A good tutor is: empathetic and an expert
How to avoid getting a bad tutor? Ask for references and talk to both parents and students
Take home tip for parents: Breathe, and choose one test to take (ACT or SAT)
Words of wisdom for teens: You can do anything you put your mind to, find your areas of improvement and work on them.
For another related conversation, check out my podcast w Debbie Stier,Episode #30, DebbieStier: Meet the Woman Who Took the SAT Seven Times in One Year
What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast? Do you have any questions for Stacey Howe-Lott and Alexis Avila?
On this tutoring tips episode #115, AP Instructor Anooj shows you how to get a 5 on the AP Biology Exam. Anooj got a 5 on his AP Government and Politics Exam, so pay close attention to these tips!
What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast? Do you have any questions for Anooj and Alexis Avila?
CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Studying can be a challenging task, especially for students with learning disabilities. Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, Tutoring and Test Preparation joins us with 7 study tips to help students.
1. For ADHD Inattentive Type
Pitfalls: Difficulty Paying Attention, Trouble with Multi-Step Tasks
Strategies: Break your essays into small chunks. For SAT and ACT essays first spend several minutes brainstorming examples and outlining each paragraph BEFORE actually writing the essay.
2. For ADHD Hyperactive Type
Pitfalls: Impulse Control
Strategies: Write out all your math steps on paper before rushing directly to those confusing multiple answer choices.
3. Unmotivated, Low-Energy Type
Strategies: Don’t enroll in large classes. Small class sizes are more stimulating and engaging. Bonus Tip: Low on energy and need an energy boost during a test? Eat dark chocolate before or during your test to get the energy burst without the crash!
4. Executive Function Disorder Type
Pitfalls: Difficulties with Time Management and Organization
Strategies: Become an early riser. Develop an early morning routine by waking up early and doing homework exercises each Saturday two to three months BEFORE your SAT or ACT test.
5. Non-Verbal Learning Disorder Type
Pitfalls: Drawing Inferences, Difficulty with Word Problems
Strategies: Avoid Careless mistakes, Underline! Underlining key words in math problems will force you to read questions carefully and know EXACTLY what to look for.
6. Anxious Student Type
Strategies: Practice tests bolster confidence. Take practice tests under timed conditions on Saturday mornings to mimic test day environment.
7. Reading/Language-Based Learning Disorder Type
Pitfalls: Trouble with Working Memory
Strategies: On long reading passages, mark up the passage, answer specific questions as you read, and answer general questions last.
What was your biggest takeaway from these tips for students with learning disabilities? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
It’s 24 hours until your SAT or ACT test. Here’s what to do.
Standardized testing can be stressful & worrisome, but worry no more! Alexis Avila, Founder of Prepped & Polished, Tutoring and Test Preparation goes live on Mass Appeal Channel 22 NBC Springfield to tell us what to do the day before and day of your SAT or ACT Test.
Pack all your stuff that you’ll need for tomorrow including:
5-6 Sharpened number two pencils
calculator with fresh batteries
snacks and water
Know how to get to the testing site.
In other words, don’t get lost or may start the test late. If necessary, plug the address into your GPS and drive from your house to the test site.
Eat an enjoyable meal and relax.
Feel free to catch an EARLY movie or watch a movie at home. Don’t go to a late movie or a party.
Don’t cram the night before the test and do a bunch of SAT or ACT practice test sections. Cramming will fry your brain and stress you out. Instead, do some leisure reading or memorize some math formulas to keep your mind sharp.
Rest and Get to Sleep early.
Get to bed a little earlier than you usually do so you can relax your mind and body and give yourself plenty of energy going into tomorrow morning’s test.
Wake up early.
By waking up early you give yourself ample time to get into your morning routine. Plus you’ll wake up in a good mood and stress-free knowing you not you already packed your backpack the night before!
Eat a good breakfast full of protein and carbs.
Don’t eat fried or high sugar foods! Instead, a protein and carb enriched breakfast will give you sustained energy over the course of a four hour test. Pre test breakfast suggestions include:
Two scrambled eggs with whole grain toast, and glass of OJ
Steel cut oats with skim milk topped with berries
Whole grain toast with a thin layer of peanut butter and sliced bananas
Do a couple of easy math problems while eating breakfast.
Doing some math in the morning will wake up the brain and keep you sharp.
Leave for the test site early.
If you get to the test site late you may wind up in the worst seat, or even worse, may miss a section of the test.
For a test break snack, eat dark chocolate.
A dark chocolate bar is a really good thing to have if you feel like you’re in a slump. It gives you a burst of energy without the crash.
What was your biggest takeaway from these tips about SAT/ACT test? Do you have any questions for Alexis Avila?
Prepped & Polished SAT Instructor Anooj got a 5 on his AP Chem exam and shows you how to ace your AP Chem exam. Pay close attention to these tips!
What was your biggest takeaway from these tips? Do you have any questions for Anooj and Alexis Avila?
Terri Karol of Prepped & Polished addresses the most frequent question that parents and students ask about the SSAT. What is a good enough score!
What was your biggest takeaway from this article? Do you have any questions for Terri Karol and Alexis Avila?
On episode 68 of The Prepped & Polished Podcast Alexis talks to Dr. Caroline Apovian. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Apovian has held a position at the forefront of the weight-management and nutrition field. One of the world’s premier weight-loss experts, she has distinguished herself as a leading researcher, treatment provider, teacher, and New York Times bestselling author. Caroline’s latest book is called the Age Defying Diet. Dr. Apovian is a doctor AND plays one on TV! She recently appeared on the Dr. Oz show, giving tips for weight loss and nutrition. On episode 68, Caroline gives us the best foods for test day, best foods for students w test anxiety, and what foods to definitely avoid.
Some key takeaways include:
Sleep 8 hours or more, otherwise you tend to gain weight.
What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast? Do you have any questions for Dr. Caroline Apovian and Alexis Avila?
Post your valuable tips or comments below:
By Jordana F., Study Skills and Executive Function Tutor, Prepped & Polished, LLC
It’s Thursday night, you’ve just finished dinner and all you want to do is go upstairs and watch some T.V. But you can’t. You have a huge exam tomorrow! You know deep down that you know the material and that you’ve studied as much as humanly possible, but still have a pit in your stomach saying “I should study more!” What do you do in these situations? Is it better to over study? Or is watching your favorite show the way to go?
If you’ve given it your best shot, the answer is…Go watch your favorite show! Over studying can create anxiety and be counterproductive to your test preparation. Walking into an exam feeling jittery, nervous and anxious is never a good idea. These feelings can get in the way of your success on the exam. Another idea that will help you with those pre-test jitters is to avoid talking with your friends about the test. Facebook yes. Sharing instagram posts Ok. “What did you get for number 3?” No! From personal experience, it is a bad idea to get together with friends, the night before an exam; it fosters an environment filled with anxiety and fear.
It’s also very important to recognize when you’re feeling nervous or anxious. When you start getting that “pit” in your stomach, or your thoughts start racing, it’s important to take a breath and realize that you are feeling this way. Once you are able to recognize the feeling, you are better able to control it moving forward.
Don’t get me wrong, it is Ok to review the night before. However, you should set a time limit. One hour? Half hour? Whatever the limit is, stick to it! After you are done, close your book and place it in your bag so that it is out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Here are five tips that I have found most helpful when trying to stay calm the night before an exam. Good luck! (You don’t need it though ☺ )
5 Helpful Hints for Keeping Calm the Night before an Exam:
1. Deep breathing: Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.
2. Place your books in your bag so you are not tempted to reach for them.
3. Create a studying time limit- When you’re done, be done!
4. Watch your favorite mindless T.V. show, or read a fun magazine or book or put your headphones in and play some of your favorite songs on iTunes
5. Exercise reduces stress: Go for a walk with your dog, or go for a run
Jordana holds a B.A. in psychology from NYU, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2006. She went on to receive a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Southern California in 2010 and continued on, receiving her second masters degree in mental health counseling from Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf School of Psychology in 2013. Jordana worked as a guidance counselor at Beverly Hills High School, helping students with their college essays. Jordana’s interests include study and organizational skills, time management, and executive functioning coaching.
Are you stressing out before your exam? Which of Jordana’s five tips do you need to practice the most?
Post your tips/comments below.
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