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

Test preparation is crucial to success in any course requiring recall of facts. Personally, I require a more rigorous test preparation in order to do well and feel confident going into the exam. The first thing I do: practice mental health and relaxation. It’s important to be in the right headspace when I’m studying for an exam. Any stress or overthinking can be detrimental, and is often times counterproductive. It’s important for everyone, not only myself, to step back from the studying and focus on themselves and their mental health briefly. I do this a few different ways: playing outside with my dog, going on a long walk, and working out all while I listen to The Piano Guys, a group that plays classical crossover, orchestral pop, and cello rock. Doing some of these things for 15 – 30 minutes ahead of studying allows me to clear my mind and make space for the information I need to retain for test day. I typically do these “de-stress breaks” several times while I study to avoid information overload.
The second thing I do is simulation tests. Although reviewing notes and material provided by the professor is important, I find I absorb the most information when I study it in a way that closely simulates a test. I do this by creating flashcards throughout the class which are reviewed independently and usually with a partner. I also find it useful to create a practice exam while I review notes. I do my best to structure questions the way I think the professor would. While I am creating test questions, I create an answer key as well so I am able to easily review and ensure accuracy.

Megan from New Hampshire
College Junior
George Washington University