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Know When You Know It


Social-Emotional Learning Study Skills & Tools MS/HS/College Strategy


Anxiety Self-regulation Verbal Memory Visual Memory

Know When You Know It

If your student often under-prepares or over-prepares for tests

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will learn to accurately self-assess what they know for a test, so they can determine if they need to study more or finish up and get a good night sleep.
  2. Instruction and Practice: a) Encourage students to adopt the most important study habits leading up to the test, including re-reading and re-writing class notesand spacing out their studying. b) Provide students with practice tests or problem sets they can use to prepare at home. Remind students that reading notes is generally ineffective. Encourage them to practice remembering and retrieving the information, just as they will need to do on the test. c) Print the next slide for students to use at home to prepare. Encourage them to check off each step as they do it.

*students* Checklist: Test Preparation

  1. Study by practicing and memorizing all the information you need for the test. Consider using flashcards or have a parent quiz you on your notes. You need to remember the information on your own, not just recognize it from your notes.
  2. Take a break for a minimum of 30 minutes. Relax, take a walk, work on another subject.
  3. Summarize the key information you must know for the test. For math and science, write out all the formulas you will need to know. If you can do this, you can be fairly certain you understand it and have it committed to memory.
  4. Whatever you can't remember, go back and review. After you think you know it, give yourself another 30 minute break before you test yourself again.
  5. Take a practice test. Correct it. Did you do as well as you hope to do on the test?
  6. Reflect on past experience. Have there been times when you thought you were ready and then forgot key points on the test? If so, give yourself extra review. Conversely, have you been doing very well on exams? If you know the material consider if you can go to sleep early so you can be alert and energized for the test.
  7. After you get back your results, take time to reflect. Did you get the grade you expected? If not, why not? Should you have studied longer? Differently? Could you have studied less and still gotten the same grade? Write down your reflections and make adjustments for the next test.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Research shows that students are quite poor at judging what they know and don't know. Using strategies that force you to self-assess can help you figure out when you have mastered the material and when you need to continue studying. If you tend to get anxious and over-study, it can be just as important to know when to walk away and get a good night's rest.