Day 75: Exam Review Day

Friday, 6 December 2013

I set aside today to review for the semester exam. Though the exam is 6 school days away and my colleagues will be reviewing at some point next week, I opted for today to model to the kids that early preparation was vital.

Above is a class video of my review that I’ve made available to the students. Below is the email I sent to parents (my students are freshmen, so parental involvement is useful).


As we look forward to exam week starting next Monday, I can imagine your freshman is all awash in stress. To manage stress, I’ve been in regular contact with your child both in class and via email.

How can you help support your child the next two weeks?

  1. Sleep is vital. Sacrificing sleep to study will backfire. According to a 2012 study in Child Development, reducing the amount you sleep to study is associated with doing worse on an exam. Source: KQED
  2. Early preparation is key. Your child has at their disposal (online) every homework assignment, quiz, and test from this semester. We’ve discussed at length how re-working old homework problems is the best exam preparation, in no small part because my exams pull from the same question bank as homework problems. From now till Monday, if your child spent 45 minutes a day on physics, she would be completely prepared.
  3. Grades are available online. Ask your child to show them to you. The exam is 25% of the semester grade, the average you see online is the other 75% of the score.
  4. The class created a Google Doc to hold study questions and answers. The resource is available to all as an additional study aid.
  5. Students are encouraged to create a 3″x5″ notecard to hold formulas and notes to use on the exam. Talk with your child about how they find the information they want to include.
  6. Our exam is Monday, December 16. Extended time students begin at 9:45 on the top floor of Askew and the remaining students begin at 10:30 on the second floor of Campbell. Students will take their English exams Monday afternoon, foreign language exam on Tuesday, math on Wednesday, and Bible on Thursday. Friday is the Messiah concert and attendance is required.

The email sent to your child today:

Hello! As we head into our final week of classes for the fall semester, I have information for you:

  • Check our Exam Q&A Google Doc for exam times, locations, and study questions/notes. The videos from Friday’s review are linked from this document.
  • Look at your grade in Moodle to be sure everything is as you expect. Do this by Thursday at 3:30pm.
  • Office hours this week are the usual: Mon-Thur 3-3:30pm and Fri 8-8:30 plus a bonus 2:30-3:30. Remember to sign up if you want to guarantee you can speak with me.
  • All old homework assignments are now set to 4 attempts. I won’t delete your old attempts or add new ones. If you want to study off homework that’s already done, go ahead and check yourself against the correct answers already shown.
  • Unit 3 Lab 1 is due this Thursday. It’ll be graded for the semester.
  • Unit 3 Classwork 1 is also due on Thursday.

Remember this: sacrificing sleep to study will backfire on you. According to a 2012 study in Child Development, reducing your hours of sleep to study is associated with doing worse on an exam. Source: KQED


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