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

After trying to cram for three tests all in one week, I learned that test preparation requires a lot of time and effort. First, I write notes on the PowerPoint posted before class. This allows me to have a background when coming into class. Consequently, during class, I focus on what the professor is saying rather than worrying about writing all of the slide material down. Rewriting the same ideas with different wording helps to remember the facts quicker. Similarly, if there is a certain chapter in the textbook that is being covered; I read the summary and key terms prior, and if time permitting the whole chapter. This additionally enables participating and answering questions in class, which wins points for participation and is another interaction that strengthens the connections in my brain. Once I know what material is covered on the test, I like to create a master study document. This includes condensing all my class notes and textbook or slide notes into one place; while adding pictures and diagrams when deemed appropriate. The study document alone helps and then I move on to two different phases. If I know the test is mainly recalling terms and definitions, I create a Quizlet and use their tools to create study questions. If I know it is short answers and conceptual applications, I like to think of test questions and answers that I believe the professor might ask. This allows the application of my notes and connections different topics, and also, I found that around half of the actual questions on the test were similar to my practice questions. Lastly, if the topic is something I struggle with, I like to watch a crash course or Khan academy videos to supplement the notes. These all work for myself since it allows numerous encounters with the topics and terms instead of just one day of studying continuously. This is important as memories are strengthened in the brain by having multiple connections and reconsolidations.

Kayla from Massachusetts
College Junior
Stonehill College