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

Tests are extremely nerve-wracking for me, especially when I am not prepared to take one. I have always been one to take my studies seriously, but at times I would get overwhelmed with the ever-growing pile of work that needed to be completed and I’d wait until the last minute to study. Now that I am in college and have found the perfect preparation practice, I never pushed studying to the bottom of my pile.
The first step to my perfect test preparation would be to take really good notes. If I am in class and have the ability to take notes, I take notes on whatever I can. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your grades. I use highlighters for head topics, a colored pen for subtopics, and then indent the information that follows. This may seem tedious, but it makes my notes easy to follow and pretty to look at. If my notes come out sloppy due to rushing or too many spelling mistakes, I try to make time to rewrite my notes. The more legible than my notes are, the easier it is to memorize on my first try going over them.
Once I have my notes, I test myself to see what I know and anything I do not know goes onto a notecard. A good tip that I got was one fact per card instead of crowding the card with multiple facts. Then when studying the cards I follow the rule that my dad taught me, twenty minutes on, ten minutes off. This idea helps me cool down and collect all the information in separate intervals.
A common theme in my test preparation is to make time to make sure that I don’t get overwhelmed with work. If I know a week ahead that I have a test, I prepare that entire week, not just a night or two before.
Finally, the last step in my studying preparation is to be proud of myself. When I would get a not-so-great grade on a test, I would beat myself up over it. I try to remember that if I did my best, then that is all that I can do. To me, this is the most important step because being proud of myself means more to me than anything else.

Victoria from Rhode Island
College Freshman
Johnson & Wales University