Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

To prepare for a test, I first make sure I know what topics the test will be covering. I usually do this whenever a new unit is beginning to make sure I can guide my understanding and knowledge throughout the whole unit and not resort to cramming before a test. Next, I make sure I focus in class and during all homework assignments as well as studying the material a few days prior to the exam and up to it. This gives me enough time to process the information and truly understand it beyond basic memorization. I also try to get 8 hours of sleep daily and encourage myself to take a small cat nap if I feel like I can't focus. I think it is much wiser to work smarter and not harder. There is no use in cramming and staying up late the night before if you can spend less time over a longer period of time and actually learn the information needed to do well on the test.
Test taking can be anxiety-filling, that's why I do my best to destress before a test. I give myself enough free time to do what I want to do as well as arranging a time period for studying. I am not too strict on when I decide to study, although I believe this could be crucial for forming a good habit, but I feel that personally I need to allow myself a lot of free time so I can relax. However, this is tricky territory. If you allow yourself too much free time, you may become more stressed because you aren't familiar enough with the material. It is important to experiment and find the right balance for you individually.
Lastly, be confident in what you know! You should be able to determine what you do and don't know from studying beforehand, so by the test you have no reason not to be worried! Trust your thoughts, think critically, and rely on what you know!

Jeremy from Arizona
College Sophomore
University of Arizona