Center for Academic Success Tips for Final Exams

ImageMeet Nanette Cheatham, Learning Strategies Consultant at LSU Center for Academic Success. This week, CAS has some helpful tips for parents and students to ensure a successful finals week.

Parents and family members often feel helpless when students are in the throes of studying for finals. You can hear the stress level rising, but feel helpless to do anything about it.  Well, there are some important ways that family members can support students who are stressing over finals.

Be supportive and remind your student that although finals are important, the world won’t come to an end if they don’t do well.  This often takes the pressure off enough so that they can relax and better prepare.

Try to make as few demands on them as possible during this time.  Try not to call them often, or give them errands to do during this period.  Help them identify as much uninterrupted study time as possible.

Please share with them the Center for Academic Success Tips for Final Exams (below). We have found that students who adhere to these suggestions often perform much higher on their final exam than they did on the previous exams in the course. Our hope is that your students will come home happy for the holidays, knowing that they ended the semester in fine style!

 Center for Academic Success Tips for Final Exams

 Plan & Balance: Make a plan (Master to Do List) for goals and detailed tasks that need to be accomplished for each class. Then schedule distraction-free time for intense and productive studying. Keep a balanced approach by rewarding accomplishment with study breaks, exercise, and most certainly SLEEP!

 Know the ‘What’s’ …but also the ‘Why’s’, ‘How’s and ‘What if’s’ of the course material.Focus on processes and concepts (“how things work”) rather than just memorization.  Activate your learning by writing summaries, creating charts, using pictures to show processes, and studying out loud.

 Prove It:  Many students THINK they are ready for a test–but often they do not prove it to themselves before the test.  Can you give a mini-lecture on this topic?  Can you map or outline this idea?  Can you make it all the way through a problem without “peeking?”  Test yourself as you study.  Prove to yourself that you know it.

Encourage Self-Talk:  What are you saying to yourself about finals?  Would you encourage a close friend with the same messages?  Many students create stress by putting undue pressure on themselves with messages that undermine their ability to perform on tests.

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Geaux Tigers!


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