There are so many ways to review for a test or exam. With so many tests throughout the year, make sure students are given the opportunity to review in a variety of ways. Consider using these strategies to prepare students to show what they have mastered in their studies.
1. Review Games.
Students love playing review games. They are often a nice break from the intense study leading up to a test and they can be a great way to relieve stress. Be careful however that you select games that will productively review the material. Here are some review games I have summarized in the past:
2. Study Guides
Most students need study guides to use to prepare for a test. These study guides should include at the least a list of vocabulary terms and concepts that students should be able to recall. They might also include questions that may or may not be on the test.
3. Study Groups
Have the students arrange study groups to prepare for their exams. If possible, spread out the students that you know have mastered the material in groups with students who are still struggling. Give them time to work together in class and encourage them to work in groups outside of class or through online tools like Google Docs. Google Docs includes a function that allows multiple people to work on and edit a document at the same time.
4. Student-created Questions
Have students create their own possible test questions—one for each section of the material that will be included in the test. Explain that you will select some of these questions to be on the test. Have the students quiz each other with their questions in pairs or groups. You may also use these questions for your review games.
5. Actively Review Notes
Usually people take notes and never look at them again. Students should be reviewing their notes daily or at least weekly regardless of how far away their test will be. There are numerous note-taking strategies that will help students remember material you have taught. Students can actively engage in their notes in the following ways:
- Find the page number that corresponds to the lecture notes from class
- Make connections between early lecture notes and material learned in later lectures
- Clarify and correct notes that don’t make any sense
- Use a highlighter to highlight the most important information
- Create possible test questions
- Find common themes or repeated words (teachers tend to create questions about things they say all the time)
6. Create Flashcards
Using the study guide or the notes, have students create flashcards with words on one side and definitions or concepts explained on the other. Then have them quiz themselves and each other to prepare for the test.
Many students struggle with test anxiety. Suggest simple, centering prayers for them to use such as “Come, Holy Spirit” or “Come, Lord Jesus.” You can also direct them to the St. Thomas Aquinas Prayer before Study.