Final exams are stressful — for students, teachers and parents! How can everyone take care of each other at the end of the school year?
It’s STILL final exams season! Last week I gave four tips on how to deal with overwhelm.
This time around, I want to share a different kind of tip that’s more related to self-care.
Recently I found myself really dreading a difficult meeting with my coach, which is not unlike the dread students feel when needing to sit down and study. Both are potentially uncomfortable and hard tasks.
To help myself get into the mood, I did the following which I actually show you a picture of in the video:
For those of you in a hurry, here’s my whiteboard summary of the tip:
Are you struggling to take action on anything in particular right now? If so, feel free to “reply” and rant about it to me for a moment. Maybe I can help.
It’s final exam season again!
In this episode from the archives, Gretchen walks you through exactly how to prepare for your final exams.
Tune in to the episode to hear more about each of these tips:
- Map out your entire approach to final exams on one page, so you can see it all at once.
- Plan in breaks so you don’t forget to have fun
- Practice breaking down each final exam into actionable parts, so that you’re clear exactly what you need to do each day to study.
- Organize all your papers and supplies so that you locate notes, worksheets, and old tests that can serve as quizzable study tools.
- Study in the manner of the test, and plan backwards.
- Build in incentives so you follow through with your plan.
- Create clear study routines that are attached to a) things you already do or b) things you like doing.
Please note: This podcast originally ran in November of 2015, so Gretchen and Megan refer to Thanksgiving the upcoming winter holidays. However even though the season is different, all the tips are still super relevant.
Do you have finals coming up? Are you, or a student you love, overwhelmed with everything there is to do between now and the end of the semester?
Recently I was overwhelmed with a big project. I noticed myself starting to stagnate and procrastinate, but then — thank goodness!! — I started doing a series of four things that really helped me sift through the overwhelm and actually take action.
It occurs to me that folks going into finals might appreciate some of these tips, so here you go:
For those of you in a hurry who simply want to check out my whiteboard summary of the tips, here they are:
If you need any quick email coaching, please don’t hesitate to hit reply and ask me a question. If I can answer it in 10 minutes or less via email, I’ll do so. Easy peasy (and yes, for free).
It’s gift giving season! I’m actually TERRIBLE at giving gifts at specific times of the year — birthdays, holidays, etc — but I’m GREAT at giving them when the spirit moves me, and I see that one of my clients has a need.
In today’s video, I thought it’d be fun to show you the contents of my “Gifts” basket that I keep on my office bookshelf. I love to purchase fun or useful things when I”m out and about, and then I have them available to pop into the mail when the spirit moves me.
Let’s take a peek in my basket!
Do you know of other gifts that are fun to give students? I’d love to add them to MY basket. Please hit reply and let me know.
P.S. Here is a link to the little Habit Tracker booklets I showed you: https://myclasstracker.com/collections/notebooks
P.P.S. And here is a link to the Memorization Set that I love to give to some students to help them study for tests using old worksheets and quizzes: https://www.amazon.com/Memorization-Green-Sheet-Eraser-Included/dp/B00WEGCR7W
It’s finals time for many students around the country and world! Are you freaking out?
Self care during this stressful time is super important, and recently I ran across this awesome resource. It’s an infographic for how to take care of yourself during finals. You can go to the inforgraphic directly by clicking here. Or… check out this video where I walk you through it, and make some commentary about some of the suggestions.
What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself during stressful times?
As final exams approach, it’s a great opportunity to explore each type of student’s weaknesses in regards to studying, and what students, parents, and coaches can do to turn those blind spots around.
Listen in as Gretchen goes into much more detail about these 7 types of students:
- The Stressed Out Perfectionist
- The Fade Away Student
- The Brilliant-But-Bored Student
- The Meh Student
- The Disorganized Student
- The Artist
- The Athlete
- BONUS (at Megan’s Suggestion): The Over-Scheduled Student
Do you ever feel lost or stressed when it comes time to start studying for final exams?
I know a lot of my clients have over the years, and so I wanted to share with you all my favorite technique for how to organize your final exam study plan.
Don’t have time for the full video? No worries, I’ve got your back with this summary:
In this video, I show you my favorite way to organize how to study for final exams and get it all on one page. And this, especially when you have multiple final exams, is very important as you have a LOT of details you have to prepare. So to start, you want to start about 3 weeks out, even if you haven’t received all your information for the final exams, and draw out on a sheet of paper a calendar as seen below.
Basically, you want to start out with a blank sheet of paper or white board, and then draw a table that has 7 columns and 3 rows (or more or less depending on how many weeks out your finals are. Then above each column put the day, and I like to start on Mondays and have the weekends grouped together. Then we want to number the days, so Monday the 1st, Tuesday the 2nd, etc. Next, on the final week we want to put in when our final exams are, so if you are in high school you likely have 2 exams a day and it might look something like above, with English and History on Monday, Math on Tuesday, Science on Wednesday, etc. Then in the weeks prior we plan out what we are going to do to study. In the example above I said that on Tuesday we’d study English with 10 flash cards, math on Wednesday with 10 flash cards, and then take a math sample text on Thursday. And my final tip is to leave Friday’s empty that way you can really focus your studying on the weekends when you have free time and give yourself Friday afternoon’s off; because let’s be honest, no one wants to do anything on Friday afternoon.
This week on the College Prep Podcast with Gretchen Wegner and her co-host Megan Dorsey:
Thanksgiving is coming up soon, as are the winter holidays.
If you get started studying for finals now (or over the winter holidays, if your finals aren’t until the end of January), you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches later — plus, you’ll learn the information better! Today Gretchen shares:
- How to put in more effort to studying without feeling like you’re working too hard
- The importance of testing yourself using “spaced retrieval”, and a few simple ways to do this over the holidays
- How to get yourself organized so you don’t waste time later finding important study tools
- A crucial tip for how to use your notes so that you’re actually learning (rather than just faking it)
- and more!
For more strategies about getting prepped for finals, check out Gretchen Wegner’s Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying.
Have you (or your student) ever been sent home with a lot of new material and no study guide?
That’s exactly what my client complained about during a recent session. High school students are so used to teachers handing out study guides that it can totally throw you off if you don’t get one!
Here’s how I recommended that he create his own study guide (and it may just be a *better* study process than if his teacher had provided it for him!). Check it out:
What experiences do you have with coming up with creative solutions for studying when teachers don’t give you a study guide? I’d love to hear yours. Comment below.
This is easier said than done. I’m saddened that most teachers seem to pass out final exam review information *only* a week before finals. From the student’s perspective, one week of a study time for 7 classes is simply not enough.
If we really want students to learn to plan out their projects and become effective time managers, we need to give them the tools they need to do this. For a majority of students to do a thorough job planning and studying for their final exams, two weeks is necessary.
In the case of Cassandra, the student whose schedule is pictured above, we sat down to map out her study schedule 2 weeks before finals began. At this point we had information for 3 of her 7 classes, so we began to map them out on a calendar. Cassandra preferred to think through exactly what task she needed to do on each day in order to be ready, and so we wrote these tasks on her schedule. Click on the picture if you’d like to see it in more detail.
Tony, on the other hand, preferred to study only one subject each day. As a result, his study schedule looks like this. You’ll note that we put his schedule in the middle of the white board, and then around the edges we wrote specific steps for him to do to study for each of the classes. Click on the picture to see it in more detail.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to map out your time; what’s more important is that you make a plan! In fact, you might not stick to every detail of your plan; however, by taking the time to think through all your tasks in advance, you’ll be more likely to study over time, rather than cramming the night before.
Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!
What is your study schedule like? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. If you know a student who you think could use this information, be sure to forward this article!