December Brings Semester Exam Prep
Tips for Study and Test Success from Skutt Catholic Faculty
‘Tis the season! It’s the end of the semester and that brings those comprehensive exams students, and parents, dread. At Skutt Catholic, many of these tests count for up to 10% of the student’s semester grade. With so much riding on the test, it pays to be prepared. Our faculty shared their practices and tips to remove the dread from semester test taking:
Study guides top the list for many of our faculty. They report providing study guides in advance for students to fill out and use for test preparation.
Class time is often dedicated to correcting and answering questions about these guides so the students are studying the correct information.
Theology teacher Meg Starman says a student will do well in her classes if they know all of the information on the study guides provided. And, theology teacher Bart Zavaletta said his exam questions come directly from the study guide he provides.
Make these guides a priority. Don’t wait until right before the test. Fill them out early so you can follow up with your teacher to get your questions answered.
When in Doubt Don’t Throw It Out!!
Science teacher Kathy Wawers advises students to hold onto EVERYTHING until after the semester exams. Old tests, quizzes and assignments can be valuable resources for completing those ever important study guides and for reviewing course content.
Too often students wait until the last minute to start studying. English teacher Shari Hoye advises students to take 15 minutes a day during these last weeks to prepare and review content for the test.
History teacher Matt Thurman says preparation can begin with review of material starting one week in advance.
German teacher Maggie Toczek encourages students to set goals for study time, including rewards. “Give yourself little goals (e.g. If I do these 15 math problems or read x number of pages, then I can have x minutes of phone time, or watch an episode of The Office on Netflix),” she said.
Teachers report the best results come from in-class review sessions. Since sports and activities make before and after school sessions difficult for students, our faculty try to devote class-time for semester reviews. So, good attendance is more important than ever as the semester comes to a close. Spend time each day reviewing the class content and utilize these classroom opportunities to get answers to any questions you may have.
Apps and Practice Tests
Some subjects lend them themselves to practice apps. Ask your teacher for recommendations. Our faculty also report using online test prep resources such as Google Classroom, Quizlet, Kahoot, and Quizizz.
Math teacher Kyle Jurgens really emphasizes the importance of “Practice. Practice. Practice.”
In subjects like math and science where students have to work on problems our faculty rely more on practice tests and worksheets for exam prep. Again, students should work ahead so they have time to ask questions early in their test prep process.
Science teacher Abbey Brockhouse encourages students to complete the practice test questions more than once. “They give you an idea of the type of question that will be asked and help narrow down what you have to study,” she said.
When the Test is a Project
In the arts, semester finals come in the form of a performance or a completed piece but many of the same suggestions apply. Faculty agree that starting early is the key with this type of final as well.
Your teachers want you to know a few other things as well…
“Remember: It’s only halftime, not the final score! Your grade does not define your performance.”
– Rachel Twist
“Relax! One test does not define you as a student or as a person.”
– Amy Sauser
“Finals should be a reflection of a semester’s worth of learning. You can’t learn an entire semester in a night,
but if you’ve paid attention all year and study, you should be fine!”
– Amy McClure
“It’s stressful for everyone. As long as there are positive attitudes all around everyone will have a good semester finals week.”
– Maggie Toczek