Give them strategies for when they want to give up

Many students have feelings of frustration when they are given a test. If you are a teacher consider these encouraging strategies that could help your students succeed.

Teach them how to “chunk test” so that they tackle little bites at a time.

• Teach them how to break sentences down into their parts so that they can highlight the subject and predicate in their brains.
• Teach them how to visualize the concept or gist of a passage.
• Teach them how to activate prior knowledge or make connections to the material. For many students, this is easier said than done. Teachers have to show them that they already have far more knowledge of the content that they may realize.


Chunk Test

“Chunking” is a lot like filing. The idea is that you want to open only one “file” at a time so that you can stay focused and “file” the information easily. This process will save time and it will also help you to understand better and to remember more effectively. Some basic principles of “chunking” include:

• Break up studying into 45 minutes to 1-hour “chunks,” focusing on one subject at a time. This is the maximum time most people can stay attentive.
• Break up reading or study by units of information (chapters/topics). This way, your attention will be focused on a topic for easier filing and retrieval.
• As you read, annotate text in order to better understand and label the information you are processing for future reference.
• After lectures and reading, add new information to maps or outlines so that it is “filed” appropriately.
• Write a summary after you complete each “chunk” of reading or at the end of your lecture notes so that you can check your understanding and clarify what you have learned. This assists the way you “label” your information “files,” and it will be easier to determine which “file” to open when you come across new information.
• Look for connections and relationships between ideas– categories, similarities/differences, cause/effect, etc. Using visual organizers and asking questions at all cognitive levels will help you to do this.

By chunking your reading and other study tasks, you will find that new information will make more sense. This is because you will be connecting it to what you already know about the subject. You will also be better able to make the connections you need to make with other information that will help you to thoroughly understand and learn.