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Best Exam Studying Tips for Students with Learning Disabilities

Meghan Mileham, Assistant Director of Admissions

Now that snow is falling on campus, our students are looking forward to some well-deserved time off. Before that can happen, they must prepare for their exams. Exam week can be a high-stress time on campus that leads to sleepless nights and high anxiety if students don’t prepare. Teachers have spent the semester preparing students, and now the ball is in their court. We asked department heads for advice they have for students, specifically for their subject. One tip that spanned all subjects was making flashcards. Here are a few ways to adjust them for each subject.

Math: “Avoid moving forward until each step makes sense to you. Don’t just copy blindly. You should walk through the notes like you are learning the lesson all over again. Consider all the calculations, diagrams, and formulas – and try to think about where they came from.” Mr. Bray

Art: “As to finishing up strong regarding final art projects, it is most important to plan ahead. Good artwork however creative is always something that takes time to complete. Procrastination and creativity are a bad combination. Set out daily goals and stick to them. Small portions of each project that can be successfully completed each day will give you a boost to your confidence and create a satisfying sense of accomplishment. Even if you only have 15 or 20 minutes, apply that time wisely. When you can’t be painting, think about what you need to do next. Remember your initial instructions. Are you still following them, or have they magically morphed into something else again? Continue to ask questions and always be willing to come to tutorial. Art, at its most basic, is an act of communication. It is your responsibility to make your artistic statements clear, obvious, beautiful, and in on time.” Mr. Parsons

Science: “Use online tools such as Quizlet that lets the user create their own flashcard deck or use premade flashcards. Make flashcards for vocabulary or to memorize important information like abbreviations, equations, or measurement units. These could be made throughout the semester, drilled often like RL cards, and saved to prepare for the exam.” Mr. Rausch

History: “Turn old homework and tests into flashcards. Go back and correct work and then make it into a flashcard. The repetition of writing the information helps it ‘stick.’ Making flashcards of vocabulary terms is also helpful.” Mr. Giallanza

Reconstructive Language: “If a student is drilling cards (vocabulary, equations, phonics, etc.) for memorization, it is best to have an ‘I know’ pile and an ‘I don’t know’ pile. Focusing on the ‘I don’t know’ will save valuable time and will not waste effort.” Mrs. Rose