As we near the end of the school year, we want to share some of the helpful tips offered by our Academic Office on how students and teachers can support each other in preparation for exams. At New Hampton School, exams are summative assessments. This means that we are assessing what a student knows and is able to do at the end of each course. Working in partnership, teachers and students can find success and feel proud of all of the learning that takes place over the year.
In order to best prepare and help students prepare for their exams, the academic office offers these suggestions:
Study with Purpose
Studying should be deliberate and focus on the skills and knowledge a student will be asked to demonstrate during their assessment. Rather than saying “I’m going to study my Spanish Vocab,” a student should focus their studying and instead say “I am going to memorize the spelling and definition of ten words.”
Study the Same Material More Than Once
Information transferred from short to long-term memory will become lasting knowledge. Once a student studies their ten Spanish vocabulary words, they should revisit those same words as they add ten new ones. This helps move information from short-term to long-term memory.
Make a Plan
Break down the sections you want to prepare for in each exam and make a plan of when to study each section. For example, in preparation for my Spanish exam on Monday I will review vocabulary, on Tuesday I will review grammar, and on Wednesday I will practice speaking. This helps to again provide focus and break down a big task into manageable sections.
Find tools for Feedback while Studying
Many New Hampton School teachers use formative assessment tools throughout their teaching. These tools are helpful when studying to make sure you are studying the correct material. Apps such as Quizlet and Kahoot can be used. Studying with a partner and quizzing one another is another strategy. Also, as teachers provide practice exams, they should also review the correct answers in class to provide students with useful feedback.
Mix up your Study Space
Studies have found that students who study the same material in different locations have better results than students who study in one location. This is a helpful tool to break up the monotony of studying. There are many locations on campus for studying; a student could study in their dorm room one night, go to the library the next night, and review course material in their empty classroom during a free block.
Space out your Study Sessions
This tip reemphasizes the suggestions to make a plan and review more than once. It can be hard with a busy schedule to find time for studying, but planning in advance and giving your brain time to digest material can result in greater learning.
Say it Aloud
Quizzing oneself on new material, such as reciting it aloud from memory, or trying to tell a friend or a houseparent about it, is a far more powerful way to master information than just re-reading it. One of the wonderful features of living in houses at boarding school is that both teachers and peers surround you. Once you’ve had some time to review material, find a friend to work through it aloud.
New Hampton Students are well-prepared for the upcoming exam period after an exciting and rigorous academic year. Mixed in with assessments are fun activities, outdoor events, championship games, and memorable moments to break up any stress or anxiety associated with exams. We all look forward to a strong and momentous end of a great year.