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From the desk of Dr. Charles Murphy: January 19, 2012

With midterms on the horizon, it is important for students to prepare effectively for these exams. First and foremost, cramming the night before is not an effective way to prepare for a test. In truth, the best practice is to review your notes and your readings each day. If this is done consistently, there will be little need to worry about midterms. The student will be well prepared and likely to experience success.

Next, I’ve mentioned this in the past, but finding a good place to study is key to good studying habits. Students do not need a desk, but they do need a quiet spot where they can lay out all of their materials and books. When I was a youngster, the kitchen and dining room tables were designated as study spots for the entire family. It also enabled “Attila the Mom” to supervise our studies to ensure we were making good use of our time.

Equally important, the test expectations should be clear. Your child should know what the test is going to cover so that they will know what to study. More often than not, students waste time reviewing material that will not be tested. Good teachers provide these expectations upfront for their students. Please make sure your child gets a review sheet and/or study guide from their teacher for each major exam. If your child does not have this material, I would contact the teacher immediately.

In the end, my father’s secret ancient studying principles, the “3 Ss,” will help move the information from short-term memory into your child’s long-term memory - “Study, Study, Study!” If you have any questions about midterms, an upcoming test or study skills, please contact your child’s teacher.