Preparing for Finals

Ben Beach, News Editor

“I’m pretty worried about my exams this time because we are still covering a lot of new material,” said Lydia Willhite (9). For many students at Portage Northern, the end of the school year brings some measure of reliefm but with a price: final exams. Final exams are often thought to be a chance for students to show what they have learned over a semester or year of instruction, but this last week often turns into the most miserable week of the school year as students scramble to remember important facts from months prior. This last minute scramble, which consumes much of students’ lives for the last three weeks of instruction, has led to many important developments in the areas of memorization and study techniques.

“I usually use the study guides that we are provided for each class,” said Tajah Frazier (10). Study guides are one of the most important review methods that have developed over the years for preparing for exams, or even tests in general;. By summarizing main course goals and content, as well as important vocabulary, study guides can help to provide a roadmap for students beginning to prepare for final exams. Another important benefit that one can garner through the use of study guides is that they provide an outline of what course materials one should gather while reviewing for the exam.

A more recent development in the area of study techniques are flashcards, which help to expedite learning through the use of consistent testing and review. “I usually use lots of flashcards when I review for my exams because they really help me recall important facts,” said Tomi Hall (10). One of the most recent developments in the use of flashcards is the site Quizlet, which contains an online, crowd sourced database of different sets of cards that students can access to help when reviewing for exams. The site also features other study modes such as testing, where it generates a multiple choice test based on the set, and speller, which is designed to help one learn how to spell important vocabulary terms.

While many students worry a great deal about their exam scores since they are worth such a significant portion of one’s grade, which then translates into overall GPA and job and college chances following high school, some students take a more relaxed view of exams, such as Frazier, who said, “as long as my grades are good when I go into the exams, I don’t worry very much.” The impact of these exams on one’s grade can be critical though, dropping or raising grades by several points, so preparation is of vital importance. As the school year comes to a close, one should be mindful of the future when deciding how much to prepare for final exams.