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

In high school, I struggled a lot with studying and grades. I thought that my problem was a lack of motivation and smarts to get the work done. It wasn't until college that I realized that I was actually just intimidated by the workload and amount of content that needed to be learned, so I would cope by not studying in a productive way. To me, the number one secret to success on tests and assignments in college has nothing to do with smarts, but rather organization. I work hard both in and out of class to make sure that I have good organization strategies for my time, study materials, and upcoming dates for tests and assignments. I keep extremely detailed planners, both on my computer and in a paper planner to make sure that I always have access to at least one. By ensuring that I am as organized as possible, I am able to divide study material into manageable chunks well before the date of the assignment or exam. This method is especially helpful for subjects that I struggle with, such as chemistry. When it comes to actually studying, I find that reviewing my notes in tandem with reading the textbook is extremely helpful. Most of my professors so far have pulled a lot of test questions and examples from the textbooks, so being familiar with important information and diagrams in the textbook is extremely important. Another thing that I have found helpful is to print out the lecture slides if possible and take notes on them after class to see what I remember and what I need to review. Since I have implemented these strategies in my daily studies, I have noticed a great improvement in my course grades and test scores, reaffirming that I am smart enough to learn anything that I put my mind to, but I just need to have good organization and study habits to make it happen.

Tabitha from Utah
College Junior
Westminster College