For many high school students in New Zealand, Term 2 can be overshadowed by the daunting presence of mid-year exams. Although exams are typically stressful activities, students who are well-prepared and have studied efficiently need not worry. If your child is prone to last-minute cramming and panic studying, it may be time to help them develop a better approach.
‘Cramming’ involves trying to memorise information in one’s short-term memory in a very limited time span. Whilst this method may help students to pass, the information is stored temporarily and not consolidated properly, and therefore, is not committed to long-term memory. Cramming does not facilitate understanding, nor does it promote revision, practice, and application of skills and knowledge. Unsurprisingly, cramming can be highly stressful, causing increased panic, which, combined with poor sleep, negatively affects one’s ability to concentrate and recall information.
A more effective approach to studying is a method known as ‘spacing’ or the ‘spacing effect’. This is a study technique that involves spreading out study sessions over a longer period of time and focusing on smaller chunks of information or skills in each session. Spacing allows information to enter the short-term memory, be utilized by one’s working memory, and be better understood and encoded in the long-term memory. 20-30 minute study sessions spread over multiple days, and weeks, are recommended for students. It is important for students to draw up a study schedule and stick to it, and to factor in sufficient time to test themselves and get help on topics they are struggling with.
Extraordinary Kids can help students with spacing and preparing for exams. We provide a quiet atmosphere, with teachers ready to help students and have worksheets and materials available for revision. Attending weekly tutoring sessions is a perfect way to spread out learning and remain consistent with studying.
If you find Extraordinary Kids is the right place for your child, please contact us. We'd be delighted to help your child.