Tag Archives: exams

Studying for Finals? Consider this 4-day study plan!

Final exams and final projects are quickly approaching in your summer term courses! Follow us on the ELIfe Social Media channels for tips for successful finals prep. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The ELI Success Coaching Team is here to help support you and provide study tips. You can contact them at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

Studying for an Exam Day 1: Communicate with Your Instructor, Find a Study Partner and Organize

1.    Ask your instructor what type of test it will be. Multiple choice? Essay? That will make a difference in how you prepare.

2.    Ask your instructor for a review sheet/study guide if he/she has not already given you one.

3.    Find a study partner — set up dates to meet to include the night before the test if possible – even via phone/Facebook/Skype.

4.    Print and organize your notes, old quizzes, textbook, assignments and handouts from the units being tested.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions (for example: cell phone, TV, instant messenger, etc.)

2.    Organize handouts, past tests, and other information according to dates. Make note of anything you are missing. (Where’s the vocab quiz from chapter 2?) Pay special attention to the questions that you missed and spend extra time studying those questions.

3.    Rewrite or type your notes. Creating an outline of the information you need to know will help you understand how the material covered in the class is related.

4.    Review the material you have. Go through the review sheet to determine what material will be covered. Read through your quizzes/handouts/notes and study questions from your book’s chapters.

Studying for a Test Day 2: Course Review, Review and Apply the Material to Better Understand 

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Communicate with your instructor to clarify areas you didn’t understand and request any missing items.

3.    Ask if there will be a review before the test and continue to review on your own and review with your Study Partner (if time permits). If there will not be a course review, consider organizing one – you can reserve a study room and meet in a campus or local library.

When Studying:

1.    Create flashcards with a question/term/vocab word on the front of the card, and the answer on the back. Quizlet is a free website/app that will help you design flashcards, practice tests and quizzes. The website/app also has pre-made flash cards (a favorite app by many students).

2.    Set a timer for 45 minutes, and review everything on the review sheet that you don’t already know using mnemonic devices like acronyms or singing a song. Also, apply the material to your life in ways that you can remember and understand. When the timer goes off, take a 15 min. break and revisit your review sheet. Study again, setting the timer if it works well for you.

3.    If you are not using the Quizlet App, put your flashcards in your purse, backpack, or car so that you can review them when you are not busy.

Studying for a Test Day 3: Review and Apply the Material, Create Practice Tests

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions

2.    When you have any free time, review your flashcards and ask yourself questions (when you’re waiting for class to start, at lunch, during study hall, etc.)

3.    Confirm a study date for tomorrow night.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Set a timer for 45 minutes again. Go back through your flashcards and review sheet, learning/applying material (especially reviewing areas that are causing you some struggles). Take a 5-minute break. If necessary, set a timer for 45 minutes again and continue if you’re still unsure of any material!

3.    Create a few “practice tests” for yourself and your study partner (you can create your own, use study guides or visit your textbook website for practice tests).  A practice test should include questions about key terminology, facts, and concepts that are likely to be on the test.

4.    Be sure to have your flashcards (Quizlet App) ready for review again tomorrow.

Studying for a Test Day 4: Review, Study/Quiz Self, Confirm Meeting Time with Study Partner

1.    Throughout the day, pull your flashcards out and review.

2.    Confirm your study date with a friend or classmate.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Again, review your flashcards paying special attention to the remaining material that was giving you some struggles.

3.    Quiz. With your study partner, take turns asking possible exam questions to each other. You will learn the material better by alternating asking the questions. Stop once you’ve been through the questions a few times and get a good night’s sleep.

Be sure to check out free online workshops by Student Lingo. If you need additional review, you can use ELI’s free online tutoring service through Smarthinking. If you are using a campus testing center, double check testing center hours and if possible, do not wait until the last day – emergencies can come up and in many classes, you will not be able to take the test late.

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the ELI Success Coaches at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

Student Lingo Workshop: Testing Anxiety

Does your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test.

As your final exams are quickly approaching, we strongly encourage checking out the Student Lingo recorded workshop titled, Taking Tests Online: Strategies For Success. test anxiety

How often do you feel like you know the material like the back of your hand, but when you get into the testing situation, you freeze? This workshop discusses various strategies for test preparation and coping skills for situations that provoke test anxiety. The presenter does a great job describing scenarios in a testing situation that can easily lead to test anxiety in addition to our internal messages and how best to control them. She also discusses external circumstances that contribute to test anxiety and how to keep them at bay before you enter the testing situation.

The presentation also contains strategies for taking different types of tests ranging from multiple choice to true/false to essay formats. The presenter’s emphatic style and her understanding of issues related to test anxiety keeps you engaged and hopefully, when you take your exam, you will feel more confident and at peace after viewing this presentation!

We also encourage you to look back at a previous ELI Student Blog post to help you prepare for your exams.

As you prepare for your exams, make sure you know your testing location and policies. Whether you are going to a NOVA campus testing center, using a local testing center, or using ProctorU, make sure you have all the updated information including testing center hours.

If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, contact the ELI Student Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or  703.764.5076.

Preparing for Exams

As you are preparing for final exams in your online courses, the ELI Student Success Coaches have complied a list of resources to help you as you prepare. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, they are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Does your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test. To address these common fears, ELI offers a wide variety of resources that will empower you and promote your testing success.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your way to an ‘A’.Computer screen

If you learn best hearing or speaking (auditory learner), you will welcome the workshops offered through Student Lingo. These free workshops are presented online by a facilitator in an engaging format. Each workshop is about 30 minutes use the link above to access the following workshops:

If you prefer to read (visual learner) the short ELife Blog posts, referenced below are just for you! These ELife Blog posts referenced below, offer timely tips to help you organize and prepare for your next test:

If you prefer to be actively involved and busy as you learn (kinesthetic learner) you may enjoy the following study methods:

  • Quizlet or Study Stack Apps: Take your practice tests and review your flash cards on the go using these apps which will enable you to create flash cards along with practice tests and quizzes.
  • If you prefer, consider the tried and true flash cards made from index cards. This allows kinesthetic learners to flip around the cards, write notes and review at any location, walking, standing or sitting (as with an app). Just flip the cards while you are studying and walk around as you review. Write cues on the cards to help you remember. You can even be creative and develop a game using your flashcards.

If memory/recall is a challenge when studying for your tests, consider exploring the ELife Blogs highlighted below which are focused on strategies to trigger memory:

Stress and anxiety is another common challenge many students experience when testing. To combat your stress, click here to view a short video on stress, facilitated by ELI’s PED instructor, Dr. Gamal Aboshadi. It will provide a better understanding of stress and empower you with valuable techniques to promote relaxation as you study and prepare to go to the testing center.

No matter what your learning style, as you plan for success on your next test, be sure to take time to put these resources into action!

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Working through Test Anxiety

Tests have a way of working people up into a serious frenzy. The stakes are much higher around exam time and the pressure becomes almost palpable without the right preparation. There are a number of strategies to help you prepare yourself mentally and physically for an upcoming exam and lower the anxiety around test-taking. Here are some quick tips that may be useful for you in the future:

Change how you view the test. Often our performance is impacted by our perception of the task at hand; if you look at the test as an impending doom, you will respond to it that way. You can conquer anything and you will not be defeated by a little test J. First things first, think of it as an “assignment” (because that’s essentially what it is, it just covers more course material) to take away some of its fear factor.

Create a simulated testing experience for studying. Try to create a studying environment that is as close to the actual testing environment as possible to get used to what taking the exam will really be like on exam day. How can you do this? Try these simple strategies:

If taking the exam in a testing center

Visit the center ahead of time to observe the atmosphere. Is there a lot of people, will you be sitting next to someone, is it cold in the room, etc.? Making note of these things will help you recreate the setting at home when studying.

Try doing practice tests with a timer in front of you to make it easier to perform with a timer when you take the exam. Exams in the testing center are often timed and the timer appears as a countdown on the computer screen during the exam.

If using ProctorU

Do all studying in the spot where you will be taking the test on exam day. This can help your memory because the environment will serve as a cue to help you recall information.

Create practice tests. Look at the textbook publisher’s website to create practice tests. You can also check out Flashcards+ and Quizlet to make flashcards to help you study.

Practice relaxation techniques before and during the exam. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to recall the information you’ve studied. On the day of the exam, check out the Omvana app for quick meditation exercises, listen to your favorite song and dance to it to release any physical discomfort (really get into it!), or anything else that calms you. Here is a strategy you can try when taking the “assignment”:

Take relaxation breaks when you hit benchmarks on the exam. For instance, once you have completed three questions/problems/ scenarios, pause, sit up straight with a soft smile on your face, and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly rotate your head in complete circles in both directions. Rotate your shoulders to the front in slow circles and again in the opposite direction. Do as many rotations as necessary. Return to the “assignment” when you feel calmer. You can do this exercise after any number of questions you choose and as often as you need.

Do not worry about those around you; do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. If at any time during the test you feel tense, return to the relaxation exercise. Pace yourself and take problems one at a time; do not jump or look ahead. And remember, you always know more than you think you do! You will do great! Namaste.

Written by ELI Success Coach, Jennifer. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Trick your Memory into Remembering!

Memory TricksWith mid-term or final exams right around the corner, you may be struggling to remember all of the terms you have learned this term. Or, you may be putting off studying for your exam because you can’t remember all the details.

Perhaps some of these memory tricks from Reader’s Digest will help you remember and prepare for your exams.

1. Pay Attention – When you see or read something you are going to need to remember.

2. Visualize It

3. Create Memorable Associations – Mentally associate a person or thing with another person or thing you know of with a similar name.

4. Make Notes – For example, when you are trying to remember someone’s name, make notes on the back of business card specifying what they looked like.

5. Retracing the Track(s) – Mentally or physically.

6. Turn it Into a Routine – e.g. Every time you think of the term ‘Acute’, mentally associate it with a ‘cute little girl’.

7. Sing It – Create a corny song if you have to.

8. Try Mnemonic Devices – e.g. ROY G BIV

9. Use Your Body – Remember multiple things according to major body parts. Start at your feet and work your way up. For example, if you have to remember 5 types of stones, think: Feet = Flagstone, Legs = Limestone, Torso = Terazzo, Arms = Agglomerate, & Face = Fossilstone.

10. Go Roman – Using rooms of association. Associate rooms in your house to what you need to memorize.

11. Rhyme It

12. Practice your ABCs – If you are drawing a blank, say the alphabet aloud or in your head. When you get to the first letter of the word you are trying to recall, it should dawn on you.

13. Read it, Type it, Say it, Hear it – The more interactive you get with the material, the more you will be able to recall.

14. Color Coordinate – Use hi-liters, colored flash cards, etc. Colors are mind triggers.

15. Make a Mental Map – Imagine an intersection, place a word, fact or number on each street corner.

Post provided by ELI Student Success Coaches. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Plan For Success on Your Next Test: A Compilation of ELI Testing Resources

test anxietyDoes your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test. To address these common fears, ELI offers a wide variety of resources that will empower you and promote your testing success.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your way to an ‘A’.

If you learn best hearing or speaking (auditory learner), you will welcome the workshops offered through Student Lingo. These free workshops are presented online by a facilitator in an engaging format. Each workshop is about 30 minutes and will promote your way to an ‘A’:

  •  How to Reduce Text Anxiety
  • Taking Tests Online: Strategies for Success

If you prefer to read (visual learner) the short ELife Blog posts, referenced below are just for you! These ELife Blog posts referenced below, offer timely tips to help you organize and prepare for your next test:

If you prefer to be actively involved and busy as you learn (kinesthetic learner) you may enjoy the following study methods:

  • Quizlet or Study Stack Apps: Take your practice tests and review your flash cards on the go using these apps which will enable you to create flash cards along with practice tests and quizzes.
  • If you prefer, consider the tried and true flash cards made from index cards. This allows kinesthetic learners to flip around the cards, write notes and review at any location, walking, standing or sitting (as with an app). Just flip the cards while you are studying and walk around as you review. Write cues on the cards to help you remember. You can even be creative and develop a game using your flashcards.

If memory/recall is a challenge when studying for your tests, consider exploring the ELife Blogs highlighted below which are focused on strategies to trigger memory:

Stress and anxiety is another common challenge many students experience when testing. To combat your stress, click here to view a short video on stress, facilitated by ELI’s PED instructor, Dr. Gamal Aboshadi. It will provide a better understanding of stress and empower you with valuable techniques to promote relaxation as you study and prepare to go to the testing center.

No matter what your learning style, as you plan for success on your next test, be sure to take time to put these resources into action! If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

For additional opportunities to promote your success, take advantage of our recorded webinar:

Tackling Math Anxiety!

To review a recorded session, click here.

Learn how to study more efficiently for mathematics and apply relaxing techniques to reduce your anxieties.

 Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

updated 7/6/17

MTT – Technology Based Developmental Math

Are you enrolled in a MTT course through ELI? We want to make sure you have all the information to start strong!math

What is MTT ?

MTT refers to the Motivating Academic Success Through Effective Redesign (MASTER) math courses that make up NOVA’s developmental math program. These courses offer personalized instruction allowing students to skip sections of material in which they can demonstrate competency and work toward mastery of the remaining material. Which MTT course a student takes depends upon the number of units needed. The Virginia Placement Test (VPT) for mathematics is aligned with the MTT units. View the MASTER Math: Progression chart to determine what units are required to be prepared for specific math courses at NOVA. The most units a student can cover in an MTT course at one time is four (MTT 4). Some students may need to complete more than one MTT course to be prepared for the math course required for their degree.

To be successful in MTT, you will need to spend several hours working on the course activities.

Textbooks and Course Materials:

MTT courses use MyMathLab which is an online textbook-based diagnostic evaluation and tutorial program designed specifically for this course. It includes an electronic copy of the class textbook, a variety of multimedia instructional resources, unlimited practice exercises, self-paced learning modules, online testing, and an individualized study plan. MyMathLab is supported and maintained by the publisher’s web server and the required plug-ins for this tool are standard.  MyMathLab is delivered inside a web-based course delivery system called MyLabsPlus. You must have an access code to MyLabsPlus, which can be purchased through the online bookstore.

The Online Math Lab is a substitute for the on-campus Math Computer Lab requirements and can be accessed through the Online Math Lab link in the menu of your Blackboard course site. The Online Math Lab is used by MTT students to ask general questions regarding course content and concepts.

Tests and Quizzes:

There are pre and post tests for each unit. Unit pre and post-tests must be proctored. Module quizzes are not proctored and will be taken at home. You cannot move forward, or complete a unit without completing the pre and post test for that unit. If you are out of the area, you will need to secure an approved proctor to supervise your exams. If you are in the area, you can take your proctored exams at any NOVA campus testing center.

Resources:

Success Coaches – Anxious about taking a math course? Contact your Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076 for tips for success and resources to help you have a successful semester.

Smarthinking – Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to ELI students. Smarthinking provides tutoring in a variety of subjects, many of which are available 24/7.

Student Lingo – Engaging on-demand, on-line workshops 24/7 on a variety of subjects – including math-related topics for example:  How to Succeed in Math, which provides specific strategies on how to succeed in an online math course and How to Overcome Math Anxiety, which helps students understand and assess their own level of math anxiety while providing ways to cope with fear and eliminate stress.

Khan Academy – This free resource offers a new way to work on some of the skills that you may be falling behind on. Students can use Khan’s large library resource database and partake in interactive assessments, challenges and even some helpful videos on a variety of topics.

Studying for Finals? Consider this 4-day study plan!

The fall semester is winding down and final exams and projects are quickly approaching. Follow us on the ELIfe Social Media channels for tips for successful finals prep. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The ELI Success Coaching Team is here to help support you and provide study tips. You can contact them at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

About.com features useful articles that will help you prepare for your final exams. To achieve the grade you are hoping for, the Four Day Study Plan, which we have slightly tweaked, will help you prepare.

Studying for an Exam Day 1: Communicate with Your Instructor, Find a Study Partner and Organize

1.    Ask your instructor what type of test it will be. Multiple choice? Essay? That will make a difference in how you prepare.

2.    Ask your instructor for a review sheet/study guide if he/she has not already given you one.

3.    Find a study partner — set up dates to meet to include the night before the test if possible – even via phone/Facebook/Skype.

4.    Print and organize your notes, old quizzes, textbook, assignments and handouts from the units being tested.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions (for example: cell phone, TV, instant messenger, etc.)

2.    Organize handouts, past tests, and other information according to dates. Make note of anything you are missing. (Where’s the vocab quiz from chapter 2?) Pay special attention to the questions that you missed and spend extra time studying those questions.

3.    Rewrite or type your notes. Creating an outline of the information you need to know will help you understand how the material covered in the class is related.

4.    Review the material you have. Go through the review sheet to determine what material will be covered. Read through your quizzes/handouts/notes and study questions from your book’s chapters.

Studying for a Test Day 2: Course Review, Review and Apply the Material to Better Understand 

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Communicate with your instructor to clarify areas you didn’t understand and request any missing items.

3.    Ask if there will be a review before the test and continue to review on your own and review with your Study Partner (if time permits). If there will not be a course review, consider organizing one – you can reserve a study room and meet in a campus or local library.

When Studying:

1.    Create flashcards with a question/term/vocab word on the front of the card, and the answer on the back. Quizlet is a free website/app that will help you design flashcards, practice tests and quizzes. The website/app also has pre-made flash cards (a favorite app by many students).

2.    Set a timer for 45 minutes, and review everything on the review sheet that you don’t already know using mnemonic devices like acronyms or singing a song. Also, apply the material to your life in ways that you can remember and understand. When the timer goes off, take a 15 min. break and revisit your review sheet. Study again, setting the timer if it works well for you.

3.    If you are not using the Quizlet App, put your flashcards in your purse, backpack, or car so that you can review them when you are not busy.

Studying for a Test Day 3: Review and Apply the Material, Create Practice Tests

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions

2.    When you have any free time, review your flashcards and ask yourself questions (when you’re waiting for class to start, at lunch, during study hall, etc.)

3.    Confirm a study date for tomorrow night.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Set a timer for 45 minutes again. Go back through your flashcards and review sheet, learning/applying material (especially reviewing areas that are causing you some struggles). Take a 5-minute break. If necessary, set a timer for 45 minutes again and continue if you’re still unsure of any material!

3.    Create a few “practice tests” for yourself and your study partner (you can create your own, use study guides or visit your textbook website for practice tests).  A practice test should include questions about key terminology, facts, and concepts that are likely to be on the test.

4.    Be sure to have your flashcards (Quizlet App) ready for review again tomorrow.

Studying for a Test Day 4: Review, Study/Quiz Self, Confirm Meeting Time with Study Partner

1.    Throughout the day, pull your flashcards out and review.

2.    Confirm your study date with a friend or classmate.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Again, review your flashcards paying special attention to the remaining material that was giving you some struggles.

3.    Quiz. With your study partner, take turns asking possible exam questions to each other. You will learn the material better by alternating asking the questions. Stop once you’ve been through the questions a few times and get a good night’s sleep.

Be sure to check out other similar articles on About.com, How To Study.org or by visiting our free online workshops by Student Lingo. If you need additional review, you can use ELI’s free online tutoring service through Smarthinking. If you are using a campus testing center, if possible, do not wait until the last day – emergencies can come up and in many classes, you will not be able to take the test late.

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the ELI Success Coaches at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

updated 7/2017

Student Lingo Workshop: Testing Anxiety

If your final exams are quickly approaching or you are in the middle of mid-term madness, we strongly encourage checking out the Student Lingo recorded workshop entitled, Taking Tests Online: Strategies For Successtest anxiety

How often do you feel like you know the material like the back of your hand, but when you get into the testing situation, you freeze? This workshop discusses various strategies for test preparation and coping skills for situations that provoke test anxiety. The presenter does a great job describing scenarios in a testing situation that can easily lead to test anxiety in addition to our internal messages and how best to control them. She also discusses external circumstances that contribute to test anxiety and how to keep them at bay before you enter the testing situation.

The presentation also contains strategies for taking different types of tests ranging from multiple choice to true/false to essay formats. The presenter’s emphatic style and her understanding of issues related to test anxiety keeps you engaged and hopefully, when you take your exam, you will feel more confident and at peace after viewing this presentation!

If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, contact your Student Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

ELI Testing Tips: Proctor U

Be Prepared – Begin reviewing and studying well in advance. If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, contact your Student Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

For a sampling of helpful study resources offered through ELI, please click here.

Proctor U Guidelines

Some courses offer online testing through ProctorU. Courses offering this option will be listed in the Syllabus Section of your Blackboard Course site, in the folder labeled “Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes”. You can also ask your instructor if Proctor U is an option for your course.

  • You will need to create an account through Proctor U. Make sure you use your VCCS email address, and select Northern Virginia Community College as your institution.
  • You will want to schedule your exam(s) at least 72 hours prior to testing to avoid a late fee.
  • If it is your first time using ProctorU, sign in 15 minutes early to set up your computer.
  • Be sure to have your photo ID ready.

Good Luck on your exams!