As it is the last week before an exam, presumably the student has covered all the core topics in the exam and has done some study over the last week or two. However the last week before an exam can make a large difference to what kind of a result a student gets!
Time and space organisation
- The student should have organised their time for the next week. A study timetable is an excellent tool to ensure they are spending the time efficiently on the material covered in the exam. This way you can spend sufficient time on each topic and not have to cram for some topics.
- Organising a study space without clutter is a helpful way to ensure the student isn’t going to be distracted. Make sure there’s room for textbooks and notes to be spread out. Make sure the student is comfortable with the area and aren’t going to be distracted by their phone, games, computer or television. Think about what’s going to be the most productive work environment for the student and take the time to get it right.
Practicing on past papers and timing yourself
- Practicing on exams from the previous year is an excellent way to see the style of questions likely to be in the exam. The exam questions are going to differ and usually be more difficult than the questions in the textbook. It’s good to see the different ways questions can be asked as well to make sure the student is prepared to answer them.
- The exam is going to be timed, and therefore it can be very helpful for the student to time themselves when practicing on older exams. This is an excellent way for the student to gauge how quickly they need to approach each question and also to get used to the pressure of completing mathematics under time constraints.
Spend time on the weaker areas
- The student should prioritise an area that is more of a weakness compared to an area that they know very well. Mathematics is a subject where the topics can be very interconnected, which means that a question can combine several concepts, and therefore it’s imperative to ensure the student knows all the areas well.
- When a student has spent more time on a complicated concept, ask them to explain the concept using their own words. This is a great way to clear their head and to highlight the areas where they might need more understanding.
Creative study style and breaks
- Every student will approach study in a slightly different way. Guide the student to do what is going to be the best approach for them. Students may sometimes find that the textbook’s definition of a concept is still very confusing, and you’re not going to see them for another few days, you could suggest searching online for another definition. Mind maps, flashcards, mnemonics, audio and visual aids (youtube and other) are all excellent alternative ways to study if you want to change up the style of tuition away from the textbooks.
- It isn’t good practice to spend hours on end in front of the books; it is beneficial to take regular breaks. Help students plan each study day with breaks involved as well. It can be a good routine to study for 60-90 minutes and then take a small 10-15 minute break and then repeat. Longer breaks for meals can be taken, but this is a basic structure which could help.
Organise your notes
- Make sure the student has all notes organised into a study folder which is easily accessible at exam time. Prepare formula sheets to help to remember all the formulas (this is also a great way to use flash cards).
Eat well – study well
- Staying away from junk food is very important when you’re studying. What is eaten will have a big impact on energy and how well the student will focus. Certain foods can be very beneficial, like fish, seeds, nuts, grains, yogurt, fruit and vegetables. It is also a good idea to keep hydrated when studying, so try and make sure the student is drinking water while studying.
With some of the above tips, the student will maximise the last week before the exam and will achieve better result.