If you are a high school student, then you should be well aware that there are only one and half weeks left to Semester One before exams start. While this is one of the busiest times of year, it is also one chalk full of opportunity as well. Here are five tips for a successful end to the semester.
1. WORK HARD ON YOUR LAST ASSIGNMENT: At this time, you should be completing your independent studies or major projects for your courses. Quite often, these assignments are worth big marks (often up to 20% of the final mark) so they are your last opportunity to shine in your classes. Also, if you have been struggling all semester, an independent study is a great way to bring your mark up.
2. ASK WHICH INCOMPLETE ASSIGNMENTS YOU CAN STILL COMPLETE: Then make sure you finish them. This may require that you stay after school or put some time in at lunch so you can talk to your teacher about what is required for each of the assignments. Remember, you are trying to bring your mark up so give these assignments your full attention.
3. ORGANIZE YOUR NOTES: This means that you tidy your locker; clean your room; go through all of your binders; collect work from your teachers; and collect papers from the far corners of the earth where you left them. Then, use the dates to organize the notes in chronological order and compare your binder notes with one or two friends. If you are missing something, then copy a friend’s note.
4. COLLECT ALL OF YOUR PAST WRITING INTO A FILE: Find all of your longer writing pieces from English, Social Studies, Science etc. and put them into a file. These will be essays, reports, journals, articles, stories, and poems. If you like to write on your own, then add your personal journals, stories, poems and other ideas to the file. Then, read, read, READ. As you read your work over, think about the ideas, and how you might use them for examples on an exam question. They will be particularly handy for the composition question on English exams.
5. TIMED PRACTICE: Create practice questions from your notes and old exams, and then solve the questions within a specific time limit. If you can’t figure out the answer within that time period, then you know you should look over those notes again. Don’t forget to give yourself timed writings, as well. You can make up your own writing prompts or find some online. Then, give yourself a time limit of ten, twenty, thirty and sixty minutes for your writing. The longer the time limit, the longer your writing should be. Remember, the composition and essay questions on an English exam should be five or more well developed paragraphs.
6. STUDY KEY VOCABULARY, TERMS, DEFINITIONS: Not only should you look over the key vocabulary for specific courses but you should also review what signal words mean. For example, what should you do if an exam question asks you to contrast? Illustrate? Define?