December 15, 2017  |  Day in the Life

2017 Finals Advice


Students will begin writing their FINAL EXAMS on Monday, December 18th with two finals scheduled each day through Thursday, December 21st. Students have already started to prepare for the final exams and should continue to review and study over the weekend--as time allows--and throughout finals week. Some tips to help your child get the most from test prep AND be on point at test time:902_FinalExams.jpg

1) EAT SOMETHING before the start of the school day. Brains need energy to process and problem-solve. If a stomach is rumbling, the brain is distracted and trying to solve THAT problem instead of writing the essay on the desk/computer.

2) SLEEP is essential to a peak performance--whether in the classroom, on the court, on the stage or at work. CRAMMING FOR A TEST into the wee hours of the morning will likely NOT result in a good performance. Encourage your student to set a stopping time and then spend a few minutes to put together a plan for the next day--tie up loose ends in that busy brain--and then get some rest. Our brains recharge, clean-out, reset and rebuild during sleep...and that process is vital to performance. Final-Exam-Baby.jpg

3) SHORTER, MORE FOCUSED WORK PERIODS are typically more productive. Use a timer and spend 20-30 minutes focused in on a topic for practice or review. Get up and MOVE after the timer goes off. Your brain gets tired of the same activity and a little movement, change of scenery, fresh air, quick walk can do for your brain what SLEEP does and help to improve your focus, concentration and MEMORY!

4) PUT AWAY THE PHONE--many teens will tell you "I CAN'T stop looking at my phone!" CAN and you NEED TO. Teens are often shocked to realize the world did not stop spinning while they ignored Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube for an hour. Our teens are reporting unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and depression while being more invested in cyber-friends than REAL flesh and bone people. Finals prep is a good time to encourage some downtime from a phone and social media. Teens may realize just how much time and energy is spent on the devices if they can engage in other aspects of life neglected during phone time.

5) USE THE TOOLS THE TEACHER PROVIDES--whether notes, review packets, old tests or study tips...LISTEN TO THE TEACHER and prepare for the test using the review strategies that work for YOU and match the test format. Studying for multiple choice is a different animal than a compare/contrast essay.

6) BREATHE...seriously...encourage your student to relax and reduce "interference" in the thought process by simply breathing and focusing energy on the task at question at a time. Counselors encourage students to practice breathing exercises before diving into a test. It's easy and not obvious to others if your student is self-conscious about this. Try "5 by 5" breathing...inhale slowly, hold the breath for five counts and it five times...and benefit from oxygenated blood and a more sharply focused mind! Easy to do and a great way to sharpen and clear one's mind!

7) POSITIVE THINKING...if you think you CAN or you think you CAN'T, you're RIGHT. Fill your mind with positive thoughts and affirmations. Tell yourself you CAN do well and you WILL perform...and give your student a word of encouragement to affirm your support and belief, too.'s just one test on one day. We want students to prepare and bring their best, but we also want them to keep in mind that none of this is life and death. The final grade is more than the final exam...remind your student this is just one part of the class.

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