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It’s that time of year again.  Time for students to create a learning plan in preparation for taking  their final exams.  Many of my students who have learning disabilities have difficulty knowing how to plan to study for exams.  They don’t realize that having a learning  plan will make studying more effective  and help them get better outcomes.  I remind my students from time to time if  they want different outcomes then they need to chose to do things differently.  The problem for some students is that they don’t know what to do when it comes to studying. The learning plan I have them complete helps them structure their exam or test preparation and helps them achieve better results.

In class, we have talked about learning styles and students have completed questionnaires to determine their preferred learning style.  We also talked about which strategies are useful for which learning styles.  Armed with this information, students can create a differentiated learning plan that meets their specific  needs.

Learning Plan

Name______________________ Date _____________________________

Subject ____________________________________ Exam Date ________________________

Location __________

A. What I Need to Know

Topics you have studied this semester Key Points

B. When I’m Going to Study

Plan at least three study dates and times.


C. How I’m going to Organize What I Need to Know

Organize the information you need to learn in any of the strategies below.

1. Create a list of what you need to know.

2. Create a graphic organizer for what you need to know.

3. Use mnemonics to help you remember what you need to know, eg BEDMAS

4. Draw a picture of what you need to know.

5. Other _______________

D. How I’m Going to Remember What I Need to Know.

Choose at least two methods to help you remember the information . Refer to the strategies for each learning style in the online article above.


1. Draw pictures so you can see the info in your mind.(Visual learners)

2. Highlight important information in notes. (Visual learners)

3. Read the material aloud so you can hear it. (Auditory learners)

4. Listen to someone read the material to you. (Auditory learners)

5. Write the material out repeatedly and read it aloud as you are writing it out. (Kinesthetic and auditory learners)

6. Walk around the room while you are reading the material aloud. (Kinesthetic and auditory learners)

E. How will I Know That I’ve Learned What I Need to Know

Choose any method of self-testing and submit the self-test.

1. Answer questions from examples in your text books.

2. Answer questions from your homework.

3. Answer questions from other students.

4. Other_____________________________________

If you have any suggestions for improving this learning plan, I would appreciate hearing them.  I’m thinking that it could be better.  Perhaps you even have a learning plan of your own for your students that you might like to share.  I would be delighted to post it here and share it with others, giving you credit of course.

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3 Responses to “Helping students create a differentiated learning plan for tests and exams”

  1. Tim Breunig on February 8th, 2011 2:11 pm

    are you familar with the 7 habits of highly effective teenagers? (ok to start teaching it at age 4) and I recomend his book/cd the leader in me to incorporate the 7 habits into the school and community. Let me know your thoughts, I am returning to graduate school with a PK-8 Physical Education degree to add to it a Alternative Education Lic.

  2. Elona Hartjes on February 8th, 2011 7:33 pm

    Yes I am familiar with the book. I have used it in my learning strategies class. I think the book is very accessible to students and makes its points well.

  3. Student-created learning plans « Differentiation Daily on March 17th, 2011 9:42 pm

    […] idea is so smart! Over at Teachers at Risk, Elona Hartjes shows us how to teach students to create their own learning plans to prepare for exams. She emphasize that the plans should be customized and she provides learners […]

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