Blach! I'm having an inner cursing and outer cursing with lots of hand gesturing and bad facial expressions weekend as I grade my Algebra 1 tests. This was their first true test on algebra (the other one was on topics they've seen since the womb: positive and negative numbers, fractions, simple graphing). During Friday I'd started grading my 1st set of exams (with inner grumbling and outer professionalism while my 2nd set of kiddies took the exam).
Then before my 3rd class started their exam, I had a quick informal vote: how many people did problems from scratch to study for this test (thumbs up or thumbs down)? How many people started studying before last night? How many people read through their notes? Hmmmm, the number of thumbs down was heart breaking.
Maybe it's an experience they have to go through: horrible test grades to see that they actually have to study. On a positive note, the way their grades are weighted with homework and tests, it doesn't HORRIBLY bring down their grades, but it does lower it (sometimes up to 6% points depending).
With a hope of helping them in the future, I've made up a document that I'm going to hand out to them a week before their next test. It walks through the steps of how to study for a math test. Hopefully, this will work.