We realize that preparing for the Envirothon can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help your team tackle the broad topic of wildlife:
WEBSITES: Start with the online study guide – links are provided at www.njenvirothon.org . Many of the sections have a list of key points or objectives. Have your team identify its strengths and weaknesses from the list of key points. Then focus on filling in the gaps in your knowledge.
For the Wildlife Section:
A large portion of the written test will come from materials on the online study guide. updated
Species highlighted in written wildlife questions tend to be either:
common backyard or neighborhood species;
species of special concern in NJ (e.g. on NJ’s Threatened and Endangered List, or of special economic/cultural importance);
species found in habitats typical of that year’s host site;
somehow related to the Envirothon Current Issue for that given year.
The hands-on test, however, is somewhat more wide-ranging due to the nature of this testing format and the availability of specimens, etc. Students should expect hands-on questions that include identification from specimens, photos, tracks, sign, calls, silhouettes, etc., as well as ecology, habitat and management-related questions that rely upon maps, diagrams, photos, etc.
Most of the questions on the test are typical multiple-choice or true-false, however, some of the questions will ask you to match specimens, habitats, or photos to items in a list. Always read questions thoroughly before proceeding to mark your answer.
APPOINT & PRACTICE: Some teams prefer to appoint one or two students to take the lead in each of the topics, thus becoming the team’s “expert” on a topic. This is helpful to focus your studies; however, keep in mind that all students should still study for all sections (just in case you have a last-minute illness). Your team should practice solving problems and completing test questions as a group.
REACH OUT: Contact your local nature center, conservation group, or other environmental professionals. If feasible, take a trip to explore habitats similar to those at the host site.
RELAX: This is NOT a traditional standardized test! Students should strive to excel, but should not expect to earn scores of 100 percent. The Envirothon is about much more than a final score! You’ll broaden your knowledge base by preparing for the Envirothon. You’ll interact with various conservation professionals. You’ll gain experience researching and solving problems as a team. Relax and have fun – you’ll be surprised how much you learn along the way!
GET OUTDOORS! Go bird watching, hiking, look for animal tracks and sign, etc.