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

When I approach a standardized test, the first test preparation practice I use is becoming familiar with the test by learning the format, which helps me to know things like how many answer choices there are, how many sections there are, and how much time I have. This works well for me because it lets me know what to expect. The second preparation technique I use is buying test-specific guides. Since multiple test preparation companies create these study books, I have many options. I buy one guide that gives tips and techniques for how to approach the exam and how to answer questions and a second guide that provides practice questions with explanations of the answer and full length practice tests. Understanding the format, learning techniques for answering questions, and getting practice with actual test questions works well for me because it covers all elements of the exam and allows me to practice the exam before I take it.

When I approach a content-specific exam, my first test preparation practice is to take detailed notes as I am learning the information. This is helpful because the professor elaborates on specific points while lecturing, and taking notes helps me to clarify hard topics. I take handwritten notes so that I am intentionally thinking about what I am writing in my notes. I also prepare by completing all readings and taking notes so that I am familiar with all the material. The next practice I use is to create a study guide with key points from my notes and from the text, which helps me identify the main ideas of each topic. It also serves as a good gauge for me to see whether I truly understood the material. Finally, my last test preparation technique is to create a quizlet with all of the main points from the study guide and to study the set until I do well on practice games. All these techniques put together work well because they ensure that I have all the information, understand the information, and can recall the information on an exam.

Brianna from New Jersey
College Junior
American University