It’s the end of the year. You’re feeling exhausted, itching for summer, and trying to stay focused. While it’s easy to let your thoughts drift to the summer break ahead, you know you have to bring your mind back to the task at hand — acing your finals. But how do you stay on top of your studies? We asked our RaiseMe Summer Ambassadors for their advice on getting good grades on final tests. Find out the testing tips that work for you, and soon enough you’ll be off enjoying summer, knowing that you did your best! If you’ve already finished finals, kudos to you!
The tips below apply to all exams, not just your finals! So be sure to take a look when you need some extra motivation and advice, any time of year.
1) Katie W. of University High School shares her take on studying. Check out her video on how to stay on task, take notes, and not procrastinate! We found her message on finding balance especially impactful.
2) Jasmine M. of Everett Alvarez High School laid out some actionable steps to take depending on the format of your exam. For example, if your test is based on public speaking or speeches, Jasmine recommends to:
“Go through as many drafts as you need, in order to feel comfortable. Arrange the information in a way that not only makes sense, but still sounds like you. Chances are, if it feels too wordy or has words that you don’t know, not only will you lose your audience, but you won’t be able to talk as smoothly as you would if you had phrased it naturally. Think of it like this, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, chances are that your audience won’t either. [You should also] practice in front of friends to get constructive criticism.”
3) Alyssa H. of Bridgeland High School advised on AP Testing, but her tips are fitting for any type of test. One of her top recommendations – Make a Study Schedule. Alyssa says:
“It’s so important for you to establish a studying schedule for yourself and hold yourself accountable. Time is very valuable leading up to your exam and you need to take full control of the situation. All it takes is reviewing just 5-10 minutes a day so you can get a head start before your test. Start by making flash cards, reviewing notes from PowerPoints, and do any type of practice problems on your free time.”
4) Among the great tips from Savannah B. of Irvin High School — prioritize. There is often so much to study for, and so little time, so Savannah suggests to “study the most important things that you know you may need help on.” Here are some of her other recommendations for getting a hold on your studies.
5) Aliyah J. of The Parish Episcopal School recognizes the anguish that can build up before final exams, so she wanted “to make something very clear, FINALS ARE NOT GOING TO KILL YOU!” that her fellow students can ace their exams “stress free!” Aliyah’s number one tip:
“Study in moderation. So many times I hear my friends complain about staying up till all hours of the night cramming for a morning final that they end up failing anyway. I must say from personal experience cramming is counterproductive, the best way to study is to look over notes and rework worksheets for small periods of time. I also find that studying right before bed is helpful because the information processes through your brain while you aren’t focusing on anything else.”
6) We’ll just let the awesome artwork by Crystal P. of Stratford High School speak for itself.
7) Similar to Aliyah, Jessica L. of Clear Springs High School knows just how important it is to take a break and breathe during this stressful time. Jessica made a beautiful digital flyer to share with her school, encouraging a supportive environment.
8) Aaron V. of Abraham Lincoln High School reminds us that there is much more than studying that goes into your exam performance. Aaron’s best bet on how well you’ll do? Confidence! Aaron says, and we agree, that:
“One of the best ways to enter a test is to go in with pride and confidence. This is also known as self-efficacy in psychological terms. If you believe you will achieve and do well, you tend to do so. Going in with a bad mentality, thinking that you’ll fail will never result in a positive outcome, unless you are extremely lucky; you don’t want to depend on chances every time you test!”
9) We all get by with a little help from our friends. Nathaly S. of Harmony Science Academy echoed the famous notion in her tips for studying success — get yourself a study buddy! Nathaly explains that:
“Study buddies are very useful to receive feedback. Luckily, I had a friend who had the same courses as I did, and we were able to team up. She was able to help me revise my papers for English, and I was able to help her problem solve in Precalculus. This type of relationship isn’t required, but it does help.”
10) Catherine G. of Temecula Preparatory School suggests some fun, creative ways to destress during your Finals. We loved her notes on baking and listening to music!
11) Like Catherine, Paloma E. of Oxnard High School knows just how crucial it is to “be kind to your mind.”
12) Lauren L. of Clear Creek Amana High School spoke to the importance of taking a moment to remind yourself why tests matter, why school matters. She said in beautifully:
“Motivation is the key to success, especially when it comes to school. If you feel discouraged, it helps to keep your eye on the bigger picture. Remember why you go to school. Remember why you want to do well in it. Is it because you want the best possible future for yourself? Is it to provide for the family you want? Whatever it is that motivates you, hold on to it. It will keep you going.”
These study recommendations will not only help you succeed on your tests in high school, but also encourage the habits that will empower you to succeed in getting to college and beyond. Thank you to our RaiseMe Ambassadors for providing these testing tips!