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Review Sessions

As we begin the last full week of classes, it is important to think about how we want our classes to end. Review sessions can help students study for the final exam, and also reduce their exam anxiety.

The following tips for planning a review session come from the “The Last Day of Class” section of Barbara Gross Davis’ Tools for Teaching.

  • Explain how the review session will be conducted – Go over the logistics of the review session, whether or not it is mandatory, and the goals of the session.
  • Conduct the Review yourself – To avoid miscommunications about how to properly prepare for the final, the instructor of the course is encouraged to lead the review session rather than the TA or grader.
  • Ask your students about scheduling the review – Research has shown that reviews session are most effective after the last lecture when students have had a chance to study the material on their own. However, it is important to consider other student conflicts (work, family, other coursework, etc.) when scheduling a review session outside of the normal meeting time.
  • Create a relaxed, informal atmosphere for the review – Give students positive feedback, and remind them that they are capable of mastering the material.

Check out Tools for Teaching for more information on conducting a review session and providing closure at the end of a class.


Davis, Barbara Gross. “The Last Day of Class.” Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.

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