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

As students progress throughout their academic career, testing seems to get more and more important. From the SATs to AP exams, all the way to finals week, academic testing seems to hold a lot of importance in measuring ones success. This, understandably, can create much stress in the average student when it comes to studying or preparing. While I have experienced my fair share of test anxiety, throughout my years as a student, I have developed several tactics to help me not only feel more prepared to succeed on the exams, but reduce my anxiety while preparing.

While seemingly obvious, my primary study practice includes starting early. Most students understand that starting early and preparing in smaller sections will better help one retain information, but it can be challenging to find the motivation to do so when the exam is seemingly far away. However, I have found it incredibly helpful to create study guides as I learn. When starting a new unit or section, I work to create a study guide or list of important terms AS I am learning the new material. This way, when it becomes time to study for the exam, all I have to do is review the information I have already organized! This has been life changing in terms of feeling better organized, as well as helped me succeed on my exams throughout recent years.

Additionally, as a psychology major, I have learned that the brain works in a routined fashion. There are proven studies which show how certain study techniques or methods which utilize simple repetition are not as effective as one may think. Strategies such as chunking or mnemonic devices have been proven to allow better retention and recognition of learned information. Rather than simply rewriting notes or rereading passages, using these scientific techniques to add a layer of meaning to the information being learned can help make the information seem more personal, and consequently easier to recall.

Chandler from New Jersey
College Sophomore
University of Pittsburgh