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

One of the most unique things about mankind is that when given enough time, and resources, we can prepare for anything. My key strategy to prepare for tests is to start early. The key to acquiring knowledge is to learn it early so anything that is added onto it is easier to understand. So I look over the notes after class and make note of what I don't exactly understand, and either ask the teacher then or go to a study session. My reasoning for this approach is if one cannot understand it immediately after learning it, chances are they won't understand it when it's applied in the homework. The second step in my study preparation process gets split into two categories. The first category is for writing, grammar, and literacy. I usually take notes on what the teacher looks for and what leads the teacher to prefer their course of action. For example, in my most recent college composition class, we had to unlearn the refrainment of leaving "I" out of the paper. The Professor reasons that since the reader's point of view is going to leak into the paper anyways, take ownership of it; the paper is in your perspective. The next category is for mathematical and scientific situations. In those situations, it's mostly straightforward because it's based on formulas and often leads to a straightforward solution. So this time, look for patterns in the problems and work on shaping the problems to meet the standards to solve. Whether its chemical yields or a calculus problem, it's usually never straightforward. Once I get past the second step, I have a consistent schedule on what days I study for certain subjects. That way the stress is dispersed and manages time to the highest efficiency. A person usually only absorbs the most information during the first hour of studying so splitting it up so there are breaks between the hour per subject approach helps retain more information. By test day, I retain information and confidence using these steps.

Samuel Painter from Pennsylvania
College Freshman
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg