A Guide to FLVS DBAs: Study Tips & Tricks

I have been a part of FLVS for multiple years now and discussion-based assessments (DBAs) are one of my most dreaded assignments. I often find myself writing long-winded notes, watching all the help videos, going to tutoring sessions, using the study guides, and more…I find myself stressing for days prior to the DBA. FLVS does provide alternative options like live lesson formats (instead of the phone which strikes anxiety in a lot of students), so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask about these options.

If you’re preparing for an upcoming DBA, enjoy these tips from one student to another.

Ask questions and be honest

As hard as it may sound, I promise this will benefit you in the long run. I also have trouble asking for help, so take it from me that saying, “I don’t get this”, “Can you explain?”, “I just guessed”, or “I struggled with this module” will be beneficial in the long run.

Have notes and be ready 15 minutes before the DBA

Doing this will give you time to briefly go over the content and help you relax (even if it’s just a little bit) before the teacher calls.

Ignore the distractions

Make sure you are in a quiet room, with as few distractions as possible. Some teachers talk softly. Lessening your distractions will help you to focus better on what the teacher is saying. (Also ignore a teacher’s pause or typing in the background. Let them know if that is affecting your ability to focus.)

Don’t be afraid to reschedule

One of the most comforting facts for me, is that you can reschedule – even during the DBA. If you get to a part where you feel you were just too unprepared, maybe something else came up, your notes aren’t working, or any other issue comes up, don’t fear asking to reschedule.

Don’t be discouraged

Although this is quite vague, whether it is nerves, or your mind going blank, or not understanding a subject, there is no need to be discouraged. You are still a bright, young student and one question or one DBA won’t change that!!

Talk to other students

I know this is a weird one, but if you are really nervous about a DBA, discussing your issues with another student who is going through the same thing is so helpful. Trust me when I say, you are not alone and many, many other students struggle with the same problem. Get their input on what helps and what doesn’t. Also check out peer tutoring (if available, several courses offer this). In my experience, it’s so much easier to get the proper notes or create your own study guide with a fellow student who has gone through DBAs themselves.

What else would you add to this list?

Post by FLVS Student Mara N.

31 comments on “A Guide to FLVS DBAs: Study Tips & Tricks

  1. Caleb

    As a student with severe general anxiety as well as social anxiety, these tips are sure to help. I am one of those students that put off DBAs as long as possible. I was not aware of the alternative option of a live lesson format for my DBAs. I usually muddle through the questions. However, because I hesitate quite a bit in answering the questions I am certain I get points taken off.
    Thank you, Mara, for helping students such as myself.

    1. Mara N.

      I get anxious for my DBAs myself and have gone to the point in one of my classes of procrastinating until all I had left were 3 module DBAs and my exams. The alternative option though not popularized is available in almost every class and I have even had a teacher set it up for me even though they hadn’t really done it before. Also just to let you know, a teacher shouldn’t take off points for your hesitation. Be sure to let them know you have severe anxiety and that its not that you weren’t prepared. Though its not always fun to tell a teacher something like that, they will understand and it will make sure that you dont lose points for something you cant control. Thank you for the kind comment and have a great day !!

  2. Juan

    Also great idea to not get distracted that I thought is that one must put the phone away or to a side and be turned off or silent.

  3. Julianne

    I get really nervous before a DBA my biggest fear is that I’l have my mouth full the moment my teacher calls then I won’t be able to answer but apparently that will never happen.

    Anyway I always take any tips I can and never forget them so thanks

  4. Alexandra

    Thank you so much…
    I always get super nervous.
    I will keep these tricks in mind for my next DBA.


  5. Grace

    I was a student who with several courses ended with a bunch of DBA’s and exams. It was about the most anxious things in all of my courses, and it was super helpful to know i could just reschedule. Thanks Mara!

  6. Meyla Sanchez

    I struggle talking to people especially teachers and I have a fear that the DBA is going to be very hard these tips help a lot


      Hi Kaitlyn! Your teachers are there to help you understand the material. If you get nervous, take a moment to breath and remember that it’s okay to ask your teacher questions. Hope this helps! 🙂

  7. Moriah

    DBAs make me so nervous because I’m worried I will not know the answer, or there will be difficulties during it where my teacher can’t hear me. But, this helped so thank you a lot. 🙂


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