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

Test preparation has always been hard for me. I struggled in high school to even start studying, and as a result, a was not prepared to study in college. I remember the first exam I had to study for in college. It was a biology exam and I knew that I had no idea what I was doing. I waited until the night before (AWFUL idea). I stayed up all night looking over notes, PowerPoints, and TA notes. I slept maybe two ours that night. I failed. I was so disappointed as I felt that I had done a really good job. For the next exam, however, I started studying one week before the exam, not one night. I looked over a lesson or two everyday, looked at my notes, wrote confusing concepts on the white board in my dorm, took a practice exam, and most importantly, I asked my professor and TA questions frequently. By the time I got to the day before the exam, I felt like I understood most of the material. My friends and I from class met at the library and went over everything again, clarifying and further explaining the difficult concepts. I got a full night's sleep and passed the exam with flying colors!

Now, I know the techniques I used were rather basic, but I think the most impactful thing I did was having a good mindset. The first exam, I was stressed beyond belief. I was scatterbrained and anxious, so I couldn't retain any information. I changed my attitude and schedule so I could relieve the stress I was feeling. I started early, gave myself time. Asking questions and getting clarification eased my mind beyond belief and with a clearer mind, I could take my time and properly understand and register the material I was looking at. These set of techniques work best for me because I can't stand having something looming over my head. The idea of the exam being a week away stressed me, but preparing for it made me feel like I was ready and there was nothing to be worried about. This way of prepping for an exam works wonders for me!

Katelyn from Pennsylvania
College Sophomore
University of Pittsburgh