Archive for category: Study Tips

Test Anxiety – What to do?

If you have children in school or away at college, you know how difficult their life can be at times. The stresses related to the education system are numerous, but one of the hardest things to deal with is the anxiety before an important test. The following are some tips you can give to your children to help them cope with and overcome test anxiety.

Proper Time Management

Planning, time management and information management skills are excellent ways of improving test scores and boosting confidence. Waiting to study the night before the day of the test is stressful and it’s harder to retain all of the information in such a short amount of time.  You should be reviewing materials for several days(!) leading up to the test.  You should spread out the study sessions rather than procrastinating will make it much easier to retain information.  These are all core Maximum Education tenets.

Relieving Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to do well on a test, as well as make it harder to concentrate while studying. You try these simple and easy techniques right away:

  • Practice deep breathing exercises– Deep breathing is a great way to fight back against anxious thoughts and clear your mind.  Just take 5 or 10 long breaths focusing on the exhale.  Count . 4 in and 6 out… 
  • Take breaks in between study sessions– Advise your children to take breaks from studying whenever they’re feeling overwhelmed. If they do something they enjoy such as listening to music, taking a walk or grabbing a snack they will be more likely to return to studying in a calmer state of mind.
  • Getting more sleep– Sleep plays a major role in regulating stress and anxiety levels. Advise your children to get at least eight hours of sleep each night, especially on the night before the test. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on the brain, causing your memory to work at decreased levels.

Contact Make The Grade

If your children are struggling with test anxiety and their grades are slipping, contact Make The Grade. We offer educational consulting and tutoring services at an affordable rate. mAke the grAde offers tutoring both live in our office or virtually using an internet based classroom, so we can help you wherever you’re located all over the world. We teach valuable skills such as time management and information management so your children can be set up for success. 

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Check out mAke the grAde podcasts here

 

In episode two of ‘studying for success’ Dr Steven Greene introduces us to the fundamentals of managing information properly – from file storage, USB storage and interesting graphic organisers to colour-coded topic sections. These techniques will make organisation a cinch!

Listen to the podcast here:

https://www.educationreview.com.au/2019/08/studying-for-success-note-taking-effectively/

The mAke the grAde podcast launched on July 17, 2019.

The mission is to provide actionable ideas and information to parents and students so they can use the ideas right away to make positive improvements in their academic lives.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the PODCAST tab on this site.  You can also listen on these popular podcast sites;

Listen at either of these links:

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3efbh-b8ea1a?utm_campaign=u_share_ep&utm_medium=dlink&utm_source=u_share

https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-3efbh-b8ea1a

Dr Steven Greene was recently featured on the Teaching Learning Leading K12 Podcast.  This popular podcast is hosted by Dr. Steven Miletto Ed.D. who has been an educator in Georgia for 32 years. He has served public school families as a history teacher, (in fact a teacher of the year!), assistant principal, and high school principal. In 2009, he was the Georgia Principal of the Year and a finalist for NASSP/MetLife National Principal of the Year in 2010. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Heart of Georgia RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency).  Here is Dr Miletto’s full bio.  Here is the link to my podcast: Teaching Learning Leading K12, and his ‘social’ links:

Release Notes:

Steven Greene – The Success Doctor – is an author, educator, and founder of Make the Grade, a tutoring/education/training company. A lifelong educator, Dr. Greene holds teaching certification in comprehensive science and has taught math and science at the middle school, high school (public and independent) and university level.

Over the past 23 years, Steven has worked with over 11,000 students and their families. He has also worked with entrepreneurs where he helped them achieve personal success and assisted them in reaching their personal goals.

Make The Grade provides individualized support for students and their families and specializes in all areas of math, science, and test preparation (SAT/ACT). His program also assists with the college admissions process, study skills, and time management.

In addition, Steven is the author of the book, “Maximum Education: The Ultimate Guide to Reaching Your Academic Goals.”

His personal interests include music (playing the guitar and piano and composing original music) as well as martial arts where he is earning a black belt in tae kwon do.

Dr. Greene continues to work with students full time, face to face, in his office, and all over the US and internationally using an online-based classroom.

CASE STUDY #11: High School Big Plan

Consistency Quote FBCharlie was a high school junior in the middle of a very, very busy stretch in his academic life during the spring of his junior year. On top of this, he was planning to take college entrance exams (SATs), and he participated in sports in the spring and winter seasons.  This all but insured that he did not have a lot of free time.  He was taking AP world history and honors English, and the rest of his courses were college prep level courses. (This issue was a little bit like Sarah’s, as they simply didn’t have enough hours in the day.)

Again, the solution was multifaceted.  We implemented several strategies all at once, combining outlining, note-taking, and test prep techniques, as well as chunking, blockingMaximum Education Daily Action Plan - Facebook and time management protocols, and homework tracking and time prioritization. Charlie got the whole buffet of services!  The main thing that helped him tremendously was breaking up his work into daily, manageable chunks that he was able to keep up with.  The mentality was to prepare as if he was prepping for a test the next day, based on the information to date with his subjects. If he didn’t have a test for six or seven days, he would study about 1/6 of that material as well as all the material up to date to that point he found this extremely helpfulbut .  Not only was it helpful, but it was also actually more efficient. He was able to spend less time studying than he had before because he was able to use his time more effectively. Later he confided that he felt the time management calendaring was most useful because he basically understood the topics, he just wasn’t able to plan things out so that things didn’t start overlapping with each other and become confusing and overwhelming.

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

cd6f8-13628385_1066991540051171_50185893_nIn August 2015 I published Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics.  Somewhat to my surprise, the book became a #1 best seller on Amazon in the Education category and continues to sell every day.  Thank you!

This book is essentially a guide on how to “do school” and how to study.  The book was born from years of working with students in a variety of subjects and seeing the recurring pattern that some / part / all of the reason that they were struggling in Math or Science or whatever was that they were unorganized and they did not have a plan.

So I started to to make handouts and exercises for my students to help them organize, and to help them use their time better and to help them plan better… and you know what.. it worked!   I took the handouts and compiled a workbook that I copied on the trusty mAke the grAde office copy machine.  Finally, a parent of a student suggested that I make this into a book… and so Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics was born.

 Summarily the book covers 3 main topics:

Time management
Information management
A daily action plan

Steven-Green-Book-Cover copyThere are also several sections with suggestions for many other academic needs such as writing term papers, studying for standard tests like the SAT and ACT exams, writing college application essays, preparing for midterms and finals, etc etc…

So here are the updates: Recently I was interviewed by a national radio syndicate about the book which is available here, and Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics is now being converted into a video class that anyone can access and follow at their own pace.  The course should be available by August 15th.

At this point I am looking for suggestions.  If you have the book and you have suggestions…

What should be included in the video?
What should be emphasized?
What helped you the most?
What was the least helpful?
What you be willing to provide a video testimonial?

Please contact Dr Steven Greene and provide feedback. 

To summarize:

Listen to the radio interview here

If you don’t have one, get your copy of Maximum Education here

Thank you for you past and present and continued support.

CASE STUDY #12: University Level Big Plan

Jackie had been a student at mAke the grAde throughout high school, so she was familiar with many of the study techniques, which we had learned over time.  However, she didn’t use all of them as effectively as she could because, frankly, she could handle the workload in high school fairly easily.  Later, she went on to become a pre-med student a large university, which had a much more rigorous and demanding course load – both in terms of the time needed and the complexity of the material.

She found several things helped her in college.  First of all, recording each one of her lectures, (parenthetically, many colleges and universities do this now, but at this point in time they did not), so she bought a small voice recorder and recorded all of the lectures, and then she would transcribe them later.  She also made many flowcharts and concept maps because much of the information was visual, although it was taught in a text style.  To prepare for tests and quizzes, and there were many of them, she studied every day for 30-45 minutes per course, to bring herself up to date on the details of each.

This study technique is called chunking or blocking, which we will talk about more in the next section.  She ended up starting with somewhere between three and four hours of study time each day, which may sound like a lot, but compared to her peers, who often studied twice that amount, it was manageable.  Also, and more importantly, her workflow was actually easier because she was always up to date and was able to go to the classes and lectures ready to take in any new material.

In the end, she reported that she felt that learning the skills when the pressure was off (that is to say in high school when she was able to utilize them without a lot of pressure and without a heavy overload of work) really helped her to master them. So when college time came, and it was game time, she was able to utilize many of the Maximum Education strategies in a coordinated way.  As she told me, “It’s so much easier when I have a system. The strategies do take some time to master, so it’s better to learn them when you have the time to do it.”

CASE STUDY #11: High School Big Plan

Charlie was a high school junior in the middle of a very, very busy stretch in his academic life during the spring of his junior year. On top of this, he was planning to take college entrance exams (SATs), and he participated in sports in the spring and winter seasons.  This all but insured that he did not have a lot of free time.  He was taking AP world history and honors English, and the rest of his courses were college prep level courses. (This issue was a little bit like Sarah’s, as they simply didn’t have enough hours in the day.)

Again, the solution was multifaceted.  We implemented several strategies all at once, combining outlining, note-taking, and test prep techniques, as well as chunking, blocking and time management protocols, and homework tracking and time prioritization. Charlie got the whole buffet of services!  The main thing that helped him tremendously was breaking up his work into daily, manageable chunks that he was able to keep up with.  The mentality was to prepare as if he was prepping for a test the next day, based on the information to date with his subjects. If he didn’t have a test for six or seven days, he would study about 1/6 of that material as well as all the material up to date to that point he found this extremely helpfulbut .  Not only was it helpful, but it was also actually more efficient. He was able to spend less time studying than he had before because he was able to use his time more effectively. Later he confided that he felt the time management calendaring was most useful because he basically understood the topics, he just wasn’t able to plan things out so that things didn’t start overlapping with each other and become confusing and overwhelming.

CASE STUDY #10:  Middle School Big Plan

Sarah was an eighth grade student when we began working together.   She had inconsistent grades, and she complained that she was overwhelmed by her schedule and her workload.  Part of this issue was the reality that she had periods of high levels of work, with some weeks having multiple tests or quizzes and other weeks having a relatively light work load.   During the heavier workload periods, she was unable to keep up with the work and struggled, which resulted in sub-par grades.

She had what amounted to a grade yo-yo effect.   The solution for Sarah, which is detailed in this chapter, was to break up larger projects into small daily exercises, which could be done every day.   For example, knowing that she would have a history test the following week, she would study all of her history material up to that date every day (as if she had a history test the next day). The same system was utilized for each class: science, math, English, etc.  Basically she took larger projects like reports and papers and studying for tests and broke them into smaller daily activities that she found easier to complete.