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

I used to think I was bad at taking timed tests, the buildup of pressure and anxiety I knew would occupy my mind and therefore have me stress over an assignment/ test was unnecessary when I could have used that time to prepare for it. Over the years, and many panic attacks later, I have improved on preparing for big tests like the SAT/ACT, GRE, and lecture exams; the following is what helped me. When there was an exam coming up for a course I was taking, I'd start studying the material for the exam a week before the test. Each day I'd cover a new chapter's material and spent the day before the exam strictly for review. Whenever I didn't understand a topic, on a powerpoint presentation for instance, I would look up what it was I was confused on and educate myself until I understood the material before I could proceed. This helped me save time when I covered an exam with a large volume of material. I would show up to the classroom on exam day at least 30 minutes early or visited the classroom on multiple occasions prior to become more familiar with the environment, maybe pick out the seat I wanted to sit in. This helped decrease my anxiety level when I walked in an exam room I was unfamiliar with. While practicing for state exams like the GRE, SAT/ACT, I would spend at least a month preparing for them. I used a lot of online resources designed to mimic the exam. Each day I'd pick 2 sections I wanted to spend time learning and, after studying, I would do 100 practice problems per section. After the practice problems, I'd review the ones I got wrong, focusing on those topics more extensively. Every 2 weeks, I would take a practice exam and do the exam exactly how I would be taking it in a classroom. Nothing was on or around me and I only had a pencil and calculator on my desk. In general, when I study I use the Pomodoro technique, this study method strengthened my ability to retain information more effectively.

Lana from Florida
College Junior
University of South Florida