Interesting question, Carlo. And one that teachers, parents, and students have struggled with for years. I'll be interested to read what strategies that work are suggested. This may prove to be an ongoing, lengthy discussion.
I agree that study skills seem difficult to teach and I disagree that students must figure it out on their own.
Just as a parent tells her son that a C is not acceptable and to go to his room and study harder, the boy is not capable of improving if he is not taught how to study smarter.
What strategies to you teach your students or your own children?
I've used the Texas A&M "Wired Study Tips" podcasts to help some high school students learn about study strategies. They are quite well done and are available free from the iTunes store. They do use terms and language best suited for high school and college students - nothing bad, but younger students may not be able to follow them as well. My own son, a high school sophomore has listened to many of them and tells me they have been helpful.
I think most of us can agree that tests are important. They are part of our education so that we can better prepare for our careers as professionals. In spite of this, there is a deep seated fear in many people regarding test preparation and test taking.
I find that students are afraid of taking tests for a number of reasons; the biggest seem to be that they have had little success at test taking in the past and that tests typically constitute a large portion of a student's grade in most classes. Unfortunately, tests do not occur as frequently as other assignments in most classrooms either, so students do not get much practice to prepare or put themselves in the correct mindset.
I happened to give a test in my class today, so I asked several students afterward what they though teachers should do to alleviate student stress before a test, and increase the likelihood they will do well. Here are some of the answers I received:
Something I am going to try out next year is to make a two part test: the first part to be done individually and the second to be done in a group. I was inspired to do this by a podcast I listed to on NPR regarding physics education in universities. We have such a strong group role system at iPoly that I think I can pull this off and have the students get a lot out of it.
I think if students feel confident about a subject area, they will be better test takers to assess their understanding of that subject. Consequently, I recommend some websites to provide practice for students to gain a better knowledge of some course content.
Tech & Learning published an article in the May 2012 issue about Getting Ready for the Test. Since the information is brief and informative, I am repeating the content below:
Kaplan’s new whitepaper, “Effective Test Readiness,” outlines six key findings that guide effective test prep:
Can you think of any additional tips to add to these test prep methods?