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The Dreaded EOC Exam

This is the time of year when students, teachers, and parents are overwhelmed with the idea of cumulative End of Course exams in Algebra, English, History, and Science. The very idea of being tested on everything you have learned over the course of one academic year is frightening, to say the least, and excruciatingly intimidating. The best advice is to break each exam down into its smallest component and start preparing.

End of Course exams count 20% of final grade point averages per subject, which means these exams have a tremendous impact on the work students have put forth all year long. If you enter the End of Course exam with a 100 average in Algebra and you score a 0 on the exam, you will still pass with an 80 for the year; however, how difficult would it be to go from an 'A' to a 'C' overnight, simply because of one exam? Start studying early - that's my best advice.

The philosophy behind EOC exams is that students will likely be moving from these college preparatory classes in high school and onto some form of college. College courses last, on average, a little over 3 months, start-to-finish. At the end of a college course, students take cumulative exams. Therefore, students enrolled in college preparatory high school courses need to be prepared to "show their stuff" at the end of each class. Providing EOC exams in high school is helpful for students to test their skills to see how much information from the school year they have retained.

As overwhelming as these exams can be, just know that if you do your very best, they can have a tremendously powerful impact on your overall final grade point average per subject. Make a plan early in the year and keep all of your notes for each class - just because you have moved onto unit 7 doesn't mean you can throw out those unit 5 notes. For now, be a pack rat and hold onto the notes, all the while keep in mind you will be using them again!

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