Note: The following exercise, created by John Gardner and Betsy Barefoot, was designed to highlight a retention strategy specific to test taking which will help students persist in the first year.
The connection between grades and retention is significant. As you approach the midterm, ask your students to think back on the tests they’ve taken so far. In small groups, ask them to identify their worst and best grades. Then, ask them to discuss with each other what factors might have affected their performance, especially factors they could control, such as amount and timing of preparation, taking comprehensive notes during class, sleep, exercise, diet, management of distractions and anxiety, etc. Each student should then create a study plan for their next test taking these factors into consideration.