By Catherine Festa, TSB Staff
In case you haven’t noticed the large cups of coffee or bags under their eyes that teens are walking around with, it is finals week.
After four years of taking finals every semester, I think I have mastered the best test-taking skills. Here is all of my knowledge about how to make it through finals week:
1. Don’t cram. Study periodically throughout the week for each exam and then the night before hammer down the details that you aren’t 100% clear on.
2. Don’t stay up until 3 a.m. or pull an all-nighter. It doesn’t help and you end up going to school looking like homeless person.
3. If you are studying for History, worry about the dates and vocab. If you have good knowledge of the basics and the facts then you will know plenty to pass your exam.
4. For Math, study your formulas and practice doing the problems that you struggle with. My dad always makes me do the same type of problem five times through to get me used to working out the problem.
5. For English, take your time on your essay. If you have to take a multiple choice test, know English literary terms. Any exam I have had in English throughout the years has been primarily over literary terms.
6. For Science, I would give my same advice as History … know the facts and vocab. It’s always been the best way for me to get the grade I want.
7. If you are taking a multiple choice test, bubble the answers on the scantron as you go. This makes things a lot easier on you so that you aren’t rushing at the end to get all the answers bubbled in correctly.
8. If you only have a matter of minutes or seconds left to finish, choose one answer choice letter (for example, I always choose B) and bubble that for the rest of the questions you don’t have. You are bound to get more correct if you choose the same answer for each rather than randomly bubbling.
9. For essay tests, write in blue pen. My teachers have always told me it’s easier on the reader’s eyes to read blue pen instead black pen.
10. Another tip for essay test, save your stronger parts of your argument for the very end rather than putting them all at the beginning. This way the last thing your teacher reads on your essay is also the best part of your essay.
11. If your teacher is offering any extra credit or extra points to add onto your exam, do it. Even if it’s only five points. Those points could be the difference between you failing the exam and passing.
I’m sure I will discover plenty more tips throughout college, but for now that’s all I have. Just remember, make it through these next five days and then you’re free for two weeks!
Catherine Festa is a senior at McKinney High School. Read her Teen Talk column and stories regularly on TSB.