If final exams equal a marathon of cramming, all-nighters, and loads of stress, this article is for you and your teen! 

 Whether your teen is in high school or college, working these five steps will help them accomplish more success with less stress. Don’t be fooled – it may sound simple, but this strategy is powerful.

Step One – Plan Ahead

 This is the most important decision your teen can make.

 Once they commit to planning ahead, suggest they put all due dates and test dates on the calendar. They can also use the app Exam Countdown Lite which makes it easy to see how many days until each exam.

 For each subject, help them break down large projects into smaller tasks and give those due dates, too. For instance, plan when they’ll read chapters of a book or edit a first draft.

 This planning skill will become a useful practice for life.

 Step Two – Organize Tools, Materials, and Space

 Even before they begin studying, encourage them to organize their notes and study materials. Why? Because it will maximize their time. Also, have them declutter their space, remove distractions, and restock their supplies.

 Step Three – Find Out How the Test is Set Up

 The type of test is key to how your teen should study. For example, if the test is multiple choice, focus on concepts and definitions. But if it’s an essay or short answer test, a deeper understanding of concepts, their application, and specific examples will be important.

 Step Four – Use Your Resources

 Some teachers or professors provide resources, like study guides. Take advantage of them! If your school offers additional study sessions, help your teen attend those sessions. Even if they think they understand the material, they can actively study with the bonus of having experts right there to help them if they get stuck.


There you have it. This may seem simple or common sense. And, it is. Sometimes we just need a roadmap or inspiration to get a plan started.

If you need a neutral third-party, or professional support for your teen, please reach out for a free, no pressure strategy call to figure out your best next steps.

Life Success for Teens offers one-to-one coaching, and a group coaching program called, The High School Success Formula.

Good luck!