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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    How to prep for exams

    2024 Spring Exam schedule

    As the school year comes to a close, exams are rapidly approaching. Whatever your combination of test or project maybe, finals week remains the last grueling test for any Gonzaga student. These last assessments can make or break a semester grade or may even provide a boost to a student trying to turn his GPA around. 

    Ms. Kathleen Clark, Gonzaga English teacher and moderator of the National Honor Society chapter at Gonzaga, offered resources that students could take advantage of to prepare for exams. 

    “The single best resource that the NHS provides is paired peer tutoring. You can speak to your counselor or any one of your teachers about requesting an individual tutor, and Mr. Kilner and I will look at our database of trained peer tutors and pair you with someone who ideally shares some of your free time either a free period or just an afternoon or morning that works well for you. And it’ll be someone that specifically is comfortable with the discipline you’re struggling with. So that has long been and continues to be the single best service offered by the NHS,” Ms. Clark said.

    Mr. John Kilroy, assistant headmaster for academic affairs, offered his advice on how students should plan for their exams. 

    “Make a strategic plan to study,” he said. “First of all, take a look at the exam schedule; see what order they’re in. […] Talk to your teachers. Learn what classes you have final projects in and what classes you’re going to sit for an exam in, and the big thing to do then is to then take a mental checklist of what you’re gonna find most challenging and start studying those subjects earlier,” Mr. Kilroy said. 

    He also stressed the importance of spacing out the time you plan to spend studying.

    “But the real thing that helps with studying for exams is to not leave it all late, of course. Start now and do 20 minutes a night, and then grow it to 40 minutes, and then an hour,” he said. 

    He also explained how the “Reading Day” works, which is the last day of review before exams and this semester falls on May 17.

    “Reading Day is an abbreviated schedule where it’s an optional day but a recommended day, obviously because it’s a great chance to prepare for exams,” Mr. Kilroy said. “You do an abbreviated schedule, and you go to your teachers, and it’s all just your review questions you asking questions, very student-initiated review, and that also means that you can go to see teachers at different times throughout the day, so you could definitely do what you need. In that way it’s great college prep preparation because that’s how a lot of college review works. You have to see your teachers like we do with office hours, but the review day, it’s really you the students initiating it, so it’s very valuable if you come prepared,” Mr. Kilroy said.

    Jack Slater’24, shared the importance of maintaining a good sleep schedule over excessive studying.

    “Sleep should take priority over studying, you won’t be able to perform on the exams even if you spend tons of time studying if you haven’t slept enough,” Slater said.  

    The important lesson to take away from this is to make a study schedule, follow it and then take advantage of the resources provided to you by your teachers while maintaining a good sleep schedule.

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