Maximum Education: Preparing for Finals 1 – What to study

It’s finals time.  Some students love this time of year (school is almost over) and some dread it.  These year end, culminating exams are often intimidating and overwhelming for students. The key is preparation and being ready to take the test.

The first step is to keep up with your classes all along.  Cramming is never a best option.  So if you have planned ahead and kept up with your work then you are in a much better situation to begin with.

There are many study techniques in Maximum Education, but one area covers how to prepare for finals (or any larger summary exam like midterms etc).   One key is to organize your information in a way that simplifies the process and at the same time organizes material in a way that makes it easier for you to learn / review it.

Here are some basic suggestions on how you can organize your information. There are many more in Maximum Education.

Think about what information the teacher has given you about the test:

– How long is the test?
– How many questions are there going to be?
– What is going to be stressed on the test?
– Are there any special cases that you have to be concerned about?
– Have you been given an essay question ahead of time?
– Do you know what types of math problems are going to be asked?
– Are there usually multiple choice questions about important dates in history?

I would love your feedback. What is your FAVORITE study trick or finals prep idea.

Put your idea in the comments and you have a chance to win a copy of Maximum Education!


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Maximum Education – The Core Mission

Maximum Education – The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics

Why did I write a book?

The core mission is to provide students and their families with simple and powerful tools to become more successful. This success includes academic but extends to many other areas of life as well.

As a preview, here is the working copy for the back cover of the book.

Students today are overloaded with school work load, extracurricular commitments, sports, volunteer work and more. They struggle to reach their academic potential and often become frustrated with the process.

Here is the solution…

Maximum Education provides a blueprint for success for students by providing functional tools for time management and prioritization, class note taking, outlines to organize information, test preparation skills and specialized tips for test preparation, standardized tests, college admissions test (ACT, SAT) and term papers.

This workbook also offers access to the mAke the grAde community of learners – an interactive group coordinated by Dr Greene – which allows students to share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate.

A lifelong educator, Dr Greene holds a state teaching certification and has taught at the middle school, high school (public and independent) and university level. In 1995 he establish mAke the grAde, a tutoring and academic consulting company based in the Philadelphia PA area, which provides private tutoring and support for students and their families, specializing in all areas of Math, the Sciences and Test Preparation for the college admissions process.


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Maximum Education: To Outline.. let me count the ways…

Making and outline…. sounds pretty simple.  You take the main ideas and put them on the left and then get the supporting information and indent it.  A tried and true way to organize information.  A classic.

From Maximum Education, my soon to be released book which will help you with all levels of academics… “The purpose of an outline is to condense the essential information from a large source into a smaller, more direct, and useful format.”


But, did you know that there are many other ways to make an outline?  In fact, in Maximum Education, you will learn 6 other ways to outline and to organize information.

Which begs the question: Why would I need 7 ways to outline..

Answer: because different types of information should be organized in different ways.

History class is generally factual information.  Maybe a timeline would help.  Or a way to sort people and their contributions to history.

Science class often has topical information and formulas.  A flow chart and examples work better.

Here is just one example of an ‘alternative’ type of outline. This is called a Spoke. The main idea is in the center and the supporting ideas are spokes around the main idea.

spoke outline

To learn more about Maximum Education visit the mAke the grAde community Facebook back or

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Information Management: A challenge at all levels and an interesting experiment.

Organizing Information.

This is a challenge at all levels.  Middle School. High School. University. Job. Career. Home.


1. There is simply a lot of information that you have to manage
2. There are so many ways that you can get (or be bombarded) with information.
3. It isn’t just about volume, it is also about prioritization.

I did an experiment for 2 days last week which I suggest that you try as well.

Day 1 – I dealt with all forms of incoming information as swiftly as I could.  I mean every text, email, tweet, phone call, fax (do you still get them?), read feed, and whatever else came my way.  By about noon, I’d lost count at about 900 items that I’d dealt with.  Mostly emails and texts but a combination of just about all of them.  And to be fair, some were responses to emails and texts that I had sent (I was trying to be productiveafter all!).  By about 2 I just felt Intellectually sluggish.  It wasn’t so much that I was overloaded, as I think we are all capable of handling this volume, but I felt that I wasn’t making progress somehow.   In the name of science I stuck with it and by about 10pm when I closed up shop for the day I had estimated about 2000 pieces of info back and forth.  Maybe digitized between the emails and web clips in Evernote and social media and so on.

Day 2 – the goal was simple.  I have a goal for today (in this case to finish a particular chapter of my soon to be released book – Maximum Education.)   I was going to only deal with incoming information that helped me to accomplish this goal.  By 9am I had 190 emails in the inbox, but I’d only read 3.. 2 from editors and 1 from the publisher.  I have 11 texts that all were thus far unanswered.  Not even counting social media as a just ignored Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin… By noon when I broke for lunch, 371 emails and 19 texts. I had answered 7 total.  The phone did ring 3 times.. all potential clients … so of course I took those calls… By 3pm.. chapter done, edits done and feeling accomplished.  Tally: 752 emails, 28 text, 4216 tweets in the feed, indefinite facebook posts still ignored.

The ‘moral’ here is obvious.  You get a lot more done when you focus on what you want to get done.   I didn’t have to go whole hog in either direction to do that, and in this day and age, anyone who markets and thrives on the internet can’t go cold turkey for any length of time, but it is clear that not dealing with the background information and collateral and non-essential information is will increase productivity.

In the next post, I will present some hands on techniques to channel and funnel essential information to keep all of us productive and sane.

More tips at makethegrade

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MTG Tip – Plug In for SAT Success

SAT: Plug In on Math problems with variables.

This is the most effective strategy to raise your math score.   Why?  it enables the test taker to convert difficult algebra based problems to more simple (and calculator friendly) arithmetic problems.


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Worldwide ONLINE based tutoring now available

mAke the grAde has expanded its tutoring and now offers ONLINE based tutoring via a high tech multimedia online classroom.  This is state of the art, fully interactive and most of all a highly effective system for tutoring.

Convenient, efficient and effective.

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Maximum Education: SATs… ACTs… finals.. it’s the busiest time of the year

It’s late April and this is the busiest time of the year for students.  It’s a confluence of everything at once.

SAT/ACT is you are taking the college admissions tests…

AP exams in May

and the 4th quarter has started and of course… finals are not that far off.

So how do you manage?

The key is a combination of planning, time management, foresight and consistency.

I recently completed writing and putting the finishing touches on Maximum Education: The Ultimate Guide to Optimal Academics.  This is a workbook and guide to, as the title so boldly state, maximizing your education and your academics.

BLUE with TEXTGREEN with text

Without giving away every secret here, here is a basic guideline of what you’ll learn in the book:

Time Management
Homework Tracking
Prioritizing Techniques
Note taking
Test Preparation Tips
Organizing and Writing Term Papers
Standard Test Prep
College Admissions Test Prep (ACT/SAT)
as the cliche says…
so much more…

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