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

I am going to be a drug dealer when I graduate college. Actually, let me rephrase that: I am going to be a pharmacist when I graduate college. Imagine how many different medications I will need to know off the top of my head-- that requires a ton of studying! Luckily, over the years I have developed the best test preparation technique that is unique to myself and suits my test anxiety. In fact, it might sound crazy but I have learned to see my anxiety as a positive for test-taking: it encourages me to study the material to the best of my ability. Luckily enough, I had some incredible high school teachers and college professors who have embedded many successful strategies in my brain, including the most important one: “Practice makes perfect.” Studying for a test in the most efficient way does not involve cramming the night before and re-reading the textbook. I am grateful that I learned how to study weeks in advance and that doing as many practice problems as possible is key. For example, in General Chemistry 1 and General Chemistry 2 at the University of Pittsburgh (Hail to Pitt!) I would spend a few hours a week with my whiteboard doing questions from the textbook that the professor had not even assigned for extra practice before exams. Sure enough, I got an A both semesters. I noticed that my friends whose study strategies only involved re-reading notes and chapters from the book did not do so well. They got below-average test scores, because they were not actively studying and applying themselves! Active studying means questioning yourself, not memorizing flashcards with your eyes glazed over. If you are studying for something like history, you can still actively study, even though it might be different than doing math or chemistry practice problems. My favorite way to study for classes like history is retelling the events in my own words, making my own study guide, teaching the material to someone else (such as a study group), and applying the knowledge to ever

Keri from Pennsylvania
College Sophomore
University of Pittsburgh