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

One of the things that a majority of college students do not enjoy are tests. Hearing the word midterm or final induces an anxiety among us students, knowing very well what those words entail. For me however, the words midterm, final, and test are just words that encourage me to push on. I have just finished my freshmen year of college with a GPA of 3.92 so I would like to say that I have some test taking strategies to share. There are many forms of test preparation practices, but there is not one single method that works for everyone. For me, I think the best thing I do to prepare for tests starts way before the actual exam. I think that taking notes is vital in being prepared because it gives a foundation for the materials that might be tested. Taking these notes and understanding the material given is a huge advantage. Personally, I am very against the entire "cram" sessions and studying the night before, as trying to learn new material takes time and cannot be achieved in a day or two. I usually take around a week before a test to start preparing. Studying with friends is a must for me, as it helps me vocalize my ideas on a concept or subject and confirms or reinforces my understanding of the matter. Being with friends also creates a less stressful environment since everyone is collaborating with one another and helping one another. Another great tip is to pace yourself. Studying for hours and hours straight is not recommended. I like to study for around an hour and take a short 10 min break to relax my brain and re energize my body. This gives time for your mental state to reset and it honestly boosts your mood. A huge factor in test preparation is food. I highly recommend having lots of snacks around, as snacking can also boost energy and keep you in a good mood. I think that a lot of test preparation has to do with a person's mental state. Making sure your mental is in a good state could be a determining factor in how well you end up studying.

Matthew from Kansas
College Freshman
Purdue university