Why “Done” is NOT the Finish Line!

It is the end of the year. One of my favorite times to reflect and assess. In both my personal and professional life, I take time to reread my notes and reflect on my experiences. Was there something I could have done better? What were my major challenges? frustrations? Is there something I can do to mitigate these situations in the future. 

Without fail, exam time brings stress, overload and almost unbearable fatigue. Students are required to be at their very best in ALL of their classes. I can’t think of a time in my adult life when I needed to be at my best on all fronts. Combine that with the timing of winter exams. It is holiday time. There are recitals, school plays, parties, family obligations and OH YES! students have to take exams in ALL of their subjects that will significantly affect their final grades. It is definitely a recipe for stress. 

While there is nothing that can be done about the calendar or the cultural aspects of the timing, there is something...

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Why are my exams SO HARD?!?!?!?

Exams are stressful! I have experienced them as a student, a teacher, a tutor and a parent and they are just plain stressful! It seems exam reviews are never given out early enough. They are often collected a few days prior to the exam (so what are students supposed to use to review?) and without fail the majority of my students SWEAR up and down that they were never taught a large percentage of the material on the review guide. 

 

Why is it this true? Exam reviews contain problems from the ENTIRE semester and as if that wasn’t daunting enough, the problems are in no particular order. When you are learning skills in math class you learn them one at a time. Your homework covers the skills taught that day. You may have a quiz that covers 3 or 4 skills and you will almost always have a test that covers the chapter in your book, often 6 or 7 skills. When I receive requests for tutoring one of the most common concerns I hear is “My son/daughter’s homework...

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