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

I enter the testing center full of nervous tension. Taking my test booklet I find an empty desk and sit down. Before opening the test I close my eyes, take a deep breath and think back on all the preparation I put into this exam…

A week before my midterm. I pull out my class notes, laptop and a few clean sheets of paper. I open my notebook to my first page of notes and begin. Page by page, I write summaries of each class period. For the sections I struggle to summarize, I consult the class powerpoints pulled up on my laptop. Using those, I continue summarizing all I’ve learned. After an hour, I stop summarizing for the night and work on something else. I don’t study for that class again until the next day, continuing the process from the night before every night until the day of the test arrives.
I find writing daily class summaries to be a helpful studying tool for me because it involves both visual (reading my notes) and kinesthetic (writing stuff down) learning. Writing summaries is better than just recopying my notes because it forces me to have a solid knowledge of the material. No one can write a good summary without a deep understanding of the subject. I’ve learned to tweak this strategy to fit different kinds of classes. For example, when studying for a math class I might add an example and/or a practice problem and shorten the summaries.
Sadly, if a class is particularly challenging, this method of test preparation might not be enough to quell my anxiety. In those times, I may find myself engaging in a multi-hour review session the night before the exam. In those cram sessions I always keep a bottle of distinctly scented lotion nearby. It seems strange, but smell is a great memory trigger. I study while using ample amounts of lotion and then apply the same lotion just prior to taking the test. It works like a charm every time.

...Having recalled all my preparation I take a quick whiff of my lotioned wrist and open my test.

Lillian from Washington
College Sophomore
Brigham Young University