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

For many years I would tire myself by organizing strict study regimes. I would make extremely detailed study guides, cram before tests, and hyper-focus on memorizing all of the material. None of this worked for me and I was creating more busy work for myself, which only added greater stress to my already overwhelming school schedule. I was overcome with anxiety and constantly feeling like my efforts were not enough, and this mainly because all of my study efforts were focused on out of class study practices. I realized that I had been working much harder, but never smarter. That being said, I needed to make a change, and once I did, I truly felt like an entirely new student. It might sound obvious or simple, but paying attention in class has garnered the most success for me. While I thought I had been paying attention, I never was, and I think this is the case for most people. You enter a classroom and in many ways you are thinking of your other tasks for the day, week, month, and so forth. This being said, the most crucial learning skill that I adopted was to enter a classroom and adjust my thinking so that nothing existed outside of that class. My top priority became honing my listening abilities so that I could practice presence and truly absorb and comprehend the material being given to me. This is so crucial because the truth is that very few people practice their listening skills-- look in any communications textbook. Typically we hear information and we automatically believe we have listened to it but 75% of the time this is not true. So, in making the daily effort to utilize my class time to the best of my ability I relied less and less on outside studying, eliminated my distractions, and was able to move forward with a calmer mind. I had more free time outside of class, and far less reasons to be anxious about my performance. I believe that this is the greatest form of time management and I can not reccomend it enough!

Nia from California
College Sophomore
Coastline Community College