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Mar 30, 2021

9 Tips for Kids to Ace Their End-of-Year Exams

Year-end exams are right around the corner, and many students aren’t sure where to start when it comes to studying. 

Whether students are suffering from pandemic fatigue, procrastination, or are simply lost after several months of remote learning, it’s imperative they take their final tests and year-end exams seriously and study for them. Preparing for an exam is just as important as taking the exam itself. Finishing school with a strong transcript will also give students a leg up in scholarship applications, which use academic merit as a qualification.


Brainly, the world’s largest online learning community, recently conducted a survey of its U.S. user base about their year-end exams. Consider this: Approximately 56% of students said they were anxious about their year-end exams. 

Patrick Quinn, parenting expert at Brainly who’s also a former teacher and father of three school-age kids, has some tips to help students prepare for standardized tests, combat year-end exam anxiety, and ace their next big test.

Read and Review—Early and Often. First and foremost, students should start preparing for their year-end exams as early as possible instead of waiting until the week before. We forget 70% of what we have learned within 24 hours, according to the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve principle. Going over new ideas a day after class will help increase retention and comprehension—so make time each evening for a quick review. Break chapters into sections and review the material at the end of each before moving on. Make notes by summarizing the critical aspects of the reading so you can easily review them without having to reread entire chapters. Bookmark difficult sections to revisit later. Pro Tip: If it is written on the board, add it to your notes. It just might be on the test.
 
Set Study Goals. For each study session, set a goal to keep track of what you’re studying or revising. You can list out your goals as soon as you start with your study session or you can set them at the end of the session for the next one. Here are some examples of study goals you can set:\
I will work through at least five equations.
I will go through and summarize chapters 5 and 6. 
I will understand and learn the key concepts that were taught in class during weeks 1-3.
 

Study to Suit your Learning Style. Your learning style will help you to know what are the best ways to prepare for an examination. For instance, if you are an auditory learner, you may benefit from recording your notes and then listening to them later, or you can even listen to classroom lesson recordings. On the other hand, if you are a visual learner, pictures and diagrams can help you remember. 
 
Limit Distractions With Online Tech Tools. If you’re lacking discipline and can’t help but check your social media during lectures, there’s a great Google Chrome extension called Self Control that can add certain websites to a blacklist for a designated amount of time in which those sites will be blocked, allowing for no school work distractions. 
 
Have Fun with Words. Breaking down the material into small pieces and creating acronyms, phrases, rhymes, or metaphors can be a valuable—and fun—way to memorize concepts. For example, students learning the steps in the scientific method will easily remember an acronym like HOMER, in which each letter stands for one of the five steps: Hypothesize, Operationalize, Measure, Evaluate, and Replicate/Revise/Report. No matter how silly, this method can help students remember important concepts for their year-end exams.
 
Establish Rules of Study Time. Unless students are explicitly using online tools to study, it’s a smart idea to remove phones and laptops from the study area to prevent distractions. Every ding from a text message takes away from valuable study time. When your brain is constantly switching back and forth between social and academic spheres, students are also losing a chance to work on their focus and stamina during a test. Some other rules might include things like: 
If you are studying for a lengthier amount of time, pre-schedule breaks with set time limits. 
Snacks and drinks are okay during study time so long as they are not a distraction.
 
Focus on Understanding. For complex math problems and abstract concepts like the events that led up to a war, for example, the best way to ensure you truly know the information is to focus on understanding instead of merely memorizing. When you’re stuck on a tough problem or challenging concept while you’re at home studying by yourself, there are plenty of amazing free platforms you can utilize to get online tutoring help or step-by-step explanations on the material.  Brainly provides step-by-step guidance and explanations to all questions on its platform, helping students go from questioning to understanding and beyond. Another way to ensure you understand the exam materials ahead of time is to reinforce what you’ve learned by helping explain answers to other students’ questions in subjects you’ve already mastered, which is a core component of Brainly’s peer-to-peer learning community.
 
Review Best Practices for Test-Taking. Studying for a test is only half the battle! Taking the test and doing well is also very important, but for some, can be much harder. For this reason, test-taking is a skill that students need to learn for academic success. There are different strategies and best practices for each type of test question (multiple-choice, true or false, essay questions, fill-in-the-blank, matching, and so on). If students are unfamiliar with these, they can turn to this checklist of test-taking strategies for middle and high school students.
 
Finally, Take Care of Yourself. In the days leading up to an exam, students should remember to take care of themselves. This means getting a full eight hours of sleep every night, drinking plenty of water, getting adequate amounts of exercise, and packing everything needed for school the night before. Remember that students can think better when they have a full stomach, so don’t skip breakfast the morning of the test. Get to school early and do a ten-minute power study right before the test, so your brain is turned on and tuned up. Pro Tip: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can give you more energy and better comprehension. Yoga or a stretching session can help with concentration and focus.


“Not every studying technique works for every student, so experiment with a few of these important study tips to find out which ones work best for you. Test-taking can be a real struggle for many high school students. Even after studying for hours the night before, many students will have anxiety during test time,” says Quinn. 
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Apr 13, 2017

Math Skills- Subtraction Practice For Third Grade

Math is one area where most kids struggle or bump into some sort of challenge. I was really excited to be contacted by Education.com to share some practice work and strategies to help my son really grasp some math concepts. You can't ever have too much practice in math, although I am sure he would disagree. Below is a fun activity to help with subtraction.

Subtraction Action

Most parents probably wouldn't mind subtracting 8-9 years off their age. Here's a fun subtraction activity for your child that will do just that—in theory, anyway. It's also a good way to boost third grade subtraction skills and make them real and relevant.

What You Need:
Pencil
Paper

What You Do:

  1. Explain to your child that his mission is to find out how old everyone was when he was born. Encourage your child to go around and record each family member's current age--don't forget grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts! Use the adult's age as the top number, and your child's age as the bottom number. Have your child set up the equation and subtract.
  2. Now that your child knows how old everyone was when you were born, try it this way: Add his age to every family member’s age today. When you get the result, have your child make a line graph with numbers 0-100 on the y-axis (vertical) and names of family members on the x-axis (horizontal). Ask your child to plot the ages and connect the dots to see how large of an age difference there is between family members.
  3. Write a word problem with your child using the ages collected above. For example, when I was born, mom was thirty years old. Now I am 9-years-old. How old is mom? Word problems in abundance!
  4. What's going on? You're tying abstract math skills--the stuff on flashcards and worksheets--to real life. These kinds of activities help your child build lifetime skills, and they help make related topics--like the timelines of history--make perfect sense. Don't be surprised, of course, if you also end up with some cherished family stories while you're at it.

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Oct 24, 2016

Brain Food: Tips For Studying

The moments are very crucial at the time of studying. Your brain is considered as a king of your body and sometimes does not show stability when the pressure of failure is somewhat on the higher side. Recently, research has proven that over-thinking on the respective subject will lead you nowhere and you will be left empty-handed. Instead of stressing, there are other methods that can help you find a way out as suggested by the experts. If college classes or school is an issue, you can get some paper writing help which would be an ideal to reform your study material and give your brain a break. With the right guidance, you can get back on track. Below are some of the precautions and actions you need to consider in terms of achieving big and overcoming the stress. 

The Consumption of Healthy Food

It has been noticed that when the time crunch of studying comes along, 80% of students give up their regular diet in order to cope up with their studies. That is the biggest mistake they commit. Always remember consuming appropriate food is the only way out and the food is your best buddy during the this time. For stimulating the proper functionality of your body, you need to consume more of the food that contains high in protein, vitamin and minerals as well. For example, the quantity of food like eggs, fish, chicken or meat are very rich in protein. Mornings can always be started with fruits like apple, guava and fresh oranges with an energetic glass of fresh juice. Always keep space for the rich food during the lunchtime, as studies show that the level of heat of the sun is on the higher side and whatever the amount of food gets consumed during this time gets easily digested. As soon the night arrives,  make it habit of consuming small meals because during the night the power of our immune system is somewhat on the lower side. The less you eat, the better you will feel for your next day. Make sure that you consume at least 3 liters of water a day as the water is the best source of minerals for the human body. 


Have An Organized Agenda 

Eating nutritional food will help you meet your goal of success. Instead of being in the stage of panic, all you have to do is take some time out to build an appropriate timetable for your respective studies. This will help you to focus and have more positive energy towards your studies. Students who prepare well-planned and well-organized form of structure in regards to their studies are set up for success.

A Consultation 

Recent studies show that the human race is not able to utilize the brain power at the utmost. Even one of the greatest scientists of history, Albert Einstein used only 6% of his brain during his lifetime. This proves that we do carry the capability, but aren’t always aware how and when to implement it. One of the best things students need to implement is getting the session of consultation with a counselor, as it will help them a lot truly recognize of their capability and they will learn skills to kill the negative vibes. Positivity leads to success. Getting some extra help won’t hurt.

Getting Appropriate Sleep 

A human mind is just not made of nerves; in fact, the hidden things reside inside somewhere that we are not able to recognize. The power of thinking, sense of feeling, and ability to choose between right and wrong go hand-in-hand with the amount of sleep you get. To improve memory and to increase brain function in the healthier way all you need to do is take enough sleep, around 6 to 8 hours each night. We know you might be thinking how I am going to do that as l have to memorize the entire syllabus? Don’t worry, if you get the appropriate amount of sleep, you would not be forcing or pushing your mind to store the entire syllabus in your mind. In fact, things will work in more accurate and sharp manner because of the enough sleep. 

Heal With Music

Music is the most authentic and best way to shift your brain from stress to relief. Music is the best mind diet recommended by the expert. Not only moments of relaxation, but the power of regaining positive energy are some of its advantages you can take.


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Jun 28, 2016

College Commuter Student's Perspective

Today's conversation is sponsored by the Michelin 

There is so much to think about when you are preparing to send your young adult children to college. Whether they are out of the state, in-state or local, there is a lot of planning involved. Both of our daughters attend college locally at the University of South Carolina, and commute back and forth. It was a united family decision that they both live at home at least for the first two years of college. It has been about 3 years now since my older daughter, Chardonnay started at USC and it has worked out with the commuting aside from the complaints of early wake-up times, traffic, or simply feelings of 'not wanting to drive today'. I've shared those feelings of not wanting to drive for many years (carpool pick-ups/drop-offs, sports, after-school activities, and more).


I asked Chardonnay to give me her personal list of pros and cons of living on campus vs off and here is what she came up with.

Pros of living on campus:
• Easy access to everything on campus, easier to get involved
• Easier to make friends because you have roommate, suitemates, people on your hall
• You can wake up 30 minutes before class starts and still be on time
• Don’t have to deal with traffic

Cons of living on campus:
• Might not have a car, so you might feel as if you’re stuck on campus
• More expensive to live on campus (cost of housing, meal plan, etc.)
• Limited meal options because of meal plans
• Not much privacy
• Homesickness

Pros of living off campus:
• More privacy and independence (depending on where you live)
• Home-cooked meals

Cons of living off campus:
• Have to get up much earlier to get to campus on time
• You can feel disconnected from campus
• Not as easy to make friends
• Spend more on gas
• Feeling of missing out

As a parent, I think that being there for your new college student both emotionally and physically are key to helping them make that transition. There were so many adjustments to be made during the first full year. One of them is when you decide to let you student have their own car. I'm sure my daughter must have been sick to death of me nagging about driver safety. An 18 year-old may think they know everything, but they have so much to learn when it comes to being responsible for their own car.

My husband had to go through so many details in regards to fueling up the vehicle, when you need an oil change or service, and using common sense to determine if there might be an issue with the tires or brakes. She has experienced a couple of minor fender benders, but seems to finally have a handle on being cautious and responsible when behind the wheel of a car. She never gets a single mile over the recommended oil change time, and gets her tires checked regularly. I guess on the perks of living at home is she can get assistance right away if there is any issue with the car.

Are you a parent of a college student or have a high school senior preparing for their next journey? You can share your stories or moments on social media using the #BeThereMoments hashtag and check out the stories on the Be There Moments website by Michelin. As parents, it is so important for us to simply be there for our college kids, don't you think?
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Jul 31, 2014

Go back-to-school with SOL REPUBLIC Tracks Collegiate Series Headphones (Giveaway)

**Closed- Winner is Desmond W. Congratulations! 
I can't believe that in three weeks my kids will officially be back-to-school. The Summer has flown by like it always does and we are scrambling around getting prepared to head back. My oldest daughter will be starting her second year of college at the University of South Carolina and is very excited. She has already ordered her books and gotten some basic supplies and clothing. I always treat the kids to a small back-to-school gift to let them know I will miss them. This year my college girl is the happy recipient of some SOL REPUBLIC Tracks Collegiate Series  Headphones. Now she can show off her Gamecock pride with these very cool over-the-ear headphones.

I didn't even realize that SOL REPUBLIC offered headphones with head bands featuring over 100 different Universities from all over the country. Check out the full listing here. They retail for $129.99. This is perfect for sending your college student off to school or even for the college sports lover in your life. When you live in the South, college football is everything! My daughter absolutely loves these and the sound quality is outstanding. 
Even if you have your volume set mid-way, you will experience listening to music, audio-books or videos in a whole new way. The HD sound clarity and bass are astonishing. These block out most sounds around you to give you the ultimate, uninterrupted listening experience. Like the other Tracks over-the-ear headphones, the head band is interchangeable and practically indestructible. The speaker pads are super comfortable, especially for extended wear. These Tracks also have a Mic & Music controller and is compatible with most Apple, Android and Windows devices.

I guarantee you that your college student or even aspiring college student will LOVE these high-quality head phones for back to school! We already own a couple pairs of other SOL REPUBLIC head phones and are beyond satisfied with them. They are truly worth the money! You can purchase them directly from the SOL REPUBLIC site as well as participating Radio Shack stores. Stay connected with SOL REPUBLIC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for product updates and promotions.

We are SO thrilled to give away one pair of these amazing SOL REPUBLIC Tracks Collegiate Series Headphones (in your choice of university available on the website & subject to availability) to one very lucky Mom Files *reader! Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on August 9, 2014. Please follow giveaway rules in Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
*If you have one a SOL REPUBLIC giveaway in the last 6 months from Mom Files, you will not be eligible to enter. 

Disclosure: I have received a complimentary pair of head phones from SOL REPUBLIC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always.
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Aug 17, 2013

What advice would you give to a college freshman?

We knew the day would eventually get here. The day when our first child would go from elementary, middle and high school to college student. Our daughter will be attending the University of South Carolina and has opted to live at home. The incoming freshman class is the largest in the University's history with almost 5,000 students. That's a very large number, but as my husband puts it, "It's not about how many start, but how many actually finish".

Although our daughter is very intelligent and responsible, we still made it a point as parents to offer our guidance and support with her entering the adult world. Life is about to change quite a bit for her. I will no longer be packing her lunch, signing her papers or waiting in the carpool line. She will be doing things on her own. She is off to a great start as far as getting all of her business in order.

This weekend kicks off move-in day and there are various welcome activities for University students. We saw her off as she drove out of the front driveway. I won't lie, my heart sank just a bit. She's an adult and the high school days are over. With that said, this does not mean that rules no longer apply to her. We sat her down and went over our rules and expectations and she was able to voice her opinions on how she felt with everything. We spoke about many things, but here is a rundown of the main points:

  • Driving safety is essential and not negotiable. Yes, you have your own car, but that does not mean you abuse it. You don't get to pick up and go or come in as late as you please. No rides should be given to just anyone. Never let anyone drive your car unless there is an emergency situation that affects your ability to drive. No texting or phone calls while driving. We just require a simple text or phone call to let us know your whereabouts. We pay for the car, insurance, gas and phone so this is not unreasonable. Failure to comply with our simple rules results in your mother dropping you off and picking you up. 
  • Personal safety is another very important matter. Always be aware of your surroundings. Have your mace in hand when walking through the parking garage. Beware of who you associate with. Report anything that you know isn't right by law to campus police. Stay in good physical shape. Eating well and exercise are essential and should be taken seriously. You never know when you have to move quickly out of harm's way! 
  • Not everyone is your friend! With the social media age comes "friendships" formed online. You don't know the real person just by his/her updates, tweets or Instagram pics. Stick with the people you know throughout the first year. Look at students you KNOW who are going into their second or third year for tips and advice that can be helpful. Not all advice is good advice. When in doubt, ask your parents. 
  • Your social media presence is your digital resume. Watch what you post and the types of comments you leave on posts. Future employers scour through all social media sites to dig up what they can about you. Be mindful of that! It takes one suggestive picture to potentially tarnish your good name and even mess up your future. 
  • Always have cash on hand. As easy as it is to use a debit card, it is not always the smartest choice. Around the college, there are dozens of businesses that sell products primarily to college students. With advanced technology in place, stealing your money has become so easy. Anyone can get access to the debit/credit card readers that attach to a smart phone/iPhone. You never know if someone is swiping your card behind your back! You have fewer worries with cash.
  • DO NOT APPLY FOR CREDIT CARDS.  Buying on credit that you can't pay back ruins your financial future. On top of this, opening up several credit cards can hurt your credit, even without spending on credit. Avoiding credit malpractice is not hard, there are plenty of student resources available online that aim to about credit cards. For instance, did you know that your credit status is repairable no matter how ruined it is? It won’t happen overnight though. For now, pay with cash. You can slowly work your way up to establishing credit in a smart and organized way.
  • We are here to help out if there is a NEED. Parties, sporting events and dining out will not be on our dime. 
  • Of course we touched on the drugs, alcohol and sex topic. She hated it, but what can you do?
In the end of our conversation, we stressed how proud we are of her and that we just her to be happy and successful. We let he know that we are always around and are happy to lend our advice and support. Our daughter felt our rules were reasonable and has agreed to comply. Maybe it was the part about having her mother pick her up and drop her off? Hahaha! We feel like she will do well and sets very high standards for herself. 

If you have any advice you would give to a college freshman, what would it be? Do you have any advice for the parents as well? I would love to hear your thoughts! 

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