5 Tips to Help Students Prepare for a Successful DBA

This post was written by Cecilia Mo’Neesha K., a FLVS Flex student. 

Discussion-based assessments (DBAs) are something that many students may feel anxious about, including myself. Whether you feel unprepared or don’t understand the module, there are several reasons students may dread DBAs. As a 14-year-old in 11th grade, I find myself spending endless hours writing arguments, notes, watching help videos, and attending tutor sessions for a DBA, which is really a conversation that takes less than 10 minutes (LOL)! In this blog, I will go over five tips to help my fellow students prepare for a successful DBA. These tips will help with studying, taking notes, overcoming anxiety, and more! 

From one student to another, this will change your perspective on DBAs. 

1. Plan & set goals  

Goal setting is an important part of a successful DBA, and SMART Goals are an effective way to fulfill your desired accomplishment. The Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely goals have helped me set both short- and long-term targets when planning for a DBA. For example, I will study 2 hours daily for 1 week to prepare myself for the Geometry DBA. That’s a SMART goal, which minimizes the feeling of procrastination and decreases the overwhelming amount of stress.  

2. Be your own cheerleader with positive reinforcement  

Mental health can also come into play when preparing for a DBA. I often hear other students say “I can’t do this” or “this is too hard.”  

When trying to prep for a successful DBA, it is important to remain positive. Remind yourself that it is okay to make mistakes and there is always a chance to redo the DBA.  Try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying: “I can do this” or “This will be the best DBA ever!” My personal word of encouragement is: “Cecilia Khan Do It, and so can you!” 

3. Create a study execution guide 

My third tip is to create a study execution guide. An example is that for every 30 minutes of studying, you take a 5-minute break. During this time, I stretch, go for a short walk, or engage in some other physical activity. I use this method because it allows me to take a brain break, increases my focus capacity, and helps me calm my mind. It is important to create this guide according to your study abilities. I can assure you that this is a tip that will change your perspective on studying. 

4. Put all your important notes on one page! 

We spend countless hours writing notes to use on our DBA, but end up only using some of them. I therefore advise you to prioritize your notes so they all fit on one page. Jot the most important bullet points that are backed up by three specific facts learned in the lesson. The help site usually provides us with a DBA study guide which is a great place to start.  

5. Connect with other students 

My last tip is to connect with your peers. Studying in groups helps better externalize your thoughts, keeps sessions interesting, and helps you stay accountable. Even though studying in a group or with a partner replaces independent study, it can be a useful component for a comprehensive study plan. 

I hope these tips help as you prepare for your next DBA. Just remember, it’s truly a conversation with your teacher, and you got this!  

8 comments on “5 Tips to Help Students Prepare for a Successful DBA

  1. henley :)

    thank you for this text. Yesterday (3/7/23) I did a history DBA and had to do it later that day and I got a 100% after I studied and took more notes. (also another thing if you want to keep your notes on one page use lined index cards for small notes and lined binder paper on a clip board to keep things organized oh and use paper clips on the index cards.)

    1. katelyn kiss

      I also know some flvs kids on an edicatnal coding website called scratch.mit.edu we share our projects together and stuff!Of course we can’t say out school name or anything personal because other people might see it.Maybe you can join!If you have to ask your parents though make sure you tell them you share projects and comment. 🙂

    1. Elizabeth JonesElizabeth Jones

      Hi Sage! Be sure to check your student dashboard and morning announcements for upcoming virtual events and in-person meetups and field trips. 😀

    2. katelyn kiss

      Hello!I don’t have really any tips on how since I’m learning to myself.But flvs does have some field trips and clubs I even have made some really good friends on here the virtual voice blog 🙂 So my name is katelyn whats yours?


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