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

Over the last year I have had to adjust my test preparation practices in order to adjust to the strenuous course load at Columbia University. In order to be able to understand all the concepts gone over in class, I have taken to doing the following: First, I go through different sources in order to understand a single topic. By that I mean that I will look up youtube videos, for a topic, as well, as skim through two text books. I started doing this after speaking with a friend, who explained that it's sometimes important to look at different sources for information, because sometimes the source (in this case the textbook required to read for class) does not always do the best job at explaining certain topics. As such, I started going over different texts in order to better understand the material.
Furthermore, I always feel it is important (at least for STEM based courses) to do most of the problems at the end of the chapter as practice, in order to prepare for exams. This helps reiterate the information in a way that makes it become like muscle memory.
Finally, and this is probably the most important; is to meet up with other classmates, or even someone who has an understanding of the subject material, and go through the material. That is explain the material to the person, as if you are teaching them. I have seen that being able to not only reiterate information, but able to formulate and apply what you have learned to a new situation you have never seen before thus proving that you have understood the concept and not just learned how to describe it. It's not enough to regurgitate the information, but to be able to build upon the concepts learned in class and be able to manipulate those ideas. That's when you know that you understand the material.

Nelson from New Jersey
College Sophomore
Columbia University