Finals Week is here in many states and undoubtedly your teen has been studying like a mad person. Often, they are so caught up in the studying itself that they neglect to think of something very basic: what they need to bring to the final exam. It’s like spending six months planning a tropical vacation and forgetting to bring your new swim suit!
The first step is to check with the teacher to make sure they know what aids they can bring. Can they bring their book? Calculator? Notes?
Your teen needs as little stress the morning of final exams as possible; so here’s a handy checklist to make sure they have everything for a great test day.
1. Notes: Some teachers let students use notes during the test. But many times, too many notes are just as useless as too few. The key is to make the notes succinct by using key words and phrases. In history, it might be key dates. In math, it might be common formulas. Make the notes legible; make them easy to follow; and make them the bare minimum necessary to jog the brain.
3. Textbooks: Some classes call for an open book test, but just having the book isn’t the key to success. They need to know where to find the material. Spending some time prior to the test noting key chapters will help make it easier to flip around and find what they need.
4. A snack: They don’t call it brain food for nothing! While your teen hopefully ate a solid breakfast before they headed out, a portable, protein-packed snack such as trail mix can help keep their brain focused during a tough test.
5. Water: Staying hydrated goes hand in hand with staying properly nourished to maintain focus and acuity. Always bring a water bottle. (Spike it with a little juice for some added flavor.)
6. Appropriate school supplies: The days of filling in ovals with No. 2 pencils are largely over, but make sure your teen has sufficient pens or pencils, along with scratch paper. Sometimes they need extra space to formulate their thoughts; try out a math concept; or quickly outline an essay before getting to work on the test paper itself. A great eraser is a must too — those little pencil ones never work right!
7. A mantra: Help your teen find a phrase they can repeat to themselves that will help center and empower them. “Today’s my day.” “I know I can.” “I’m almost through with math” – whatever it takes!
8. Confidence: No matter how well they know the material, if they don’t think they know it, they’ll have a hard time getting through the test. Talk up your kid that morning; remind him of all the tests he’s aced and that this will be one more! Give her a congratulatory pep talk for all the hard work she’s put in.
Helping your child be prepared with anything they might need for a test can help make the morning that much smoother, contributing to a calm and confident start to the day – and a successful Finals Week.