I begin this lesson by explaining to my scholars that adequate test preparation is very important. Usually, in order to do well on tests, you have to prepare yourself. I explain to them that it helps to know what kind of test you will be taking in order to prepare. Will it be multiple choice, matching, essay, etc. I tell them that studying for tests helps to reduce stress. Stress is simply undue pressure. In order to study for a test it is good to schedule study sessions either by yourself or with a study group. It's also important to take breaks and not have distractions or things that pull their attention away from studying (i.e., noise, television, radio, etc.) during your study sessions. Cramming is not an effective study skill. Cramming is trying to take in alot of information in a short period of time. When you do this you are simply overloading your short term memory and not really learning the information long term.
As you study, you may want to organize your notes, look over old tests to refresh your memory and knowledge of information covered on particular topics. During your study group, if you and your study group can take turns to teach various parts of lessons, this really shows that you have learned the material if you can teach it. It's also important to get adequate sleep, eat small healthy meals and healthy snacks, and stay away from caffeine and sugar as you study because they make you hyper or give you burst of energy but don't really give you sustained energy over time.
Next, I have my scholars watch a brief Brainpop video on Test Preparation (click here to watch video) and take the short quiz to check for understanding. (Teacher facilitates quiz as a whole group and students show answers using sign language - a, b, c, d).
Next, we have a vocabulary bee in which I use a word bank of words relative to test preparation. Students line up in front of the class and take turns saying the word or term, giving the definition of the word/term, and using the word/term correctly in a sentence. The last student left standing at the end of the vocabulary bee is the winner.
Word bank - essay, multiple choice, cram, stress, distraction, review, study group, knowledge, hyper, organize notes, breaks, expect, sleep, sugar, caffeine (see attached word bank resource for teacher). (Note - Teacher may add additional words to word bank.)
In order to have students to independently think about what we have learned about test preparation, I have them to prepare a sample study preparation calendar to plan out a week before a test by listing at least two test preparation ideas for each day. (See attached calendar resource.)
To close the lesson, students share what they wrote on their sample study sessions calendar and complete and share what they wrote on an exit ticket to explain how they feel developing effective study skills will help them in the long run.