By Mark Heintz
I have tried many different ways to make reviewing effective. In the last few weeks in AP World I try to give as many practice exams as I can to the students. One of the best ways to review is looking through old tests. The questions are challenging and going through them can really impact their ability to perform on the exam. However, it takes a lot of time to complete the practice example, and then it takes minimally a day to go over the exam.
So, I broke the exam into five parts. While this may seem incredibly simple to many of you who already do it, it really changed the effectiveness of the use of the practice exam. Last week I gave one part in class each day. I gave the students the same amount of time each day. I gave them test taking strategies each day to focus on. While going over the answers, the class discussed how effective each strategy worked. The next day continued to reinforce the strategy.
It was a great way to get the students to "buy-in" to taking a short test every day. Especially since the questions are so complicated, going over 12 questions a day is much more manageable to go into the complexities than spending the entire period. Since the process only took 20 minutes, the rest of the day was free to work on other deficits. Students who missed a day did not miss all of the test prep. Students who were there every day did not get burnt out. It was very positive and led to great discussions about the test.