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

As a nursing student, my studies revolve around taking weekly exams. In order to succeed in my courses, my test preparation begins on the first day of class as, if you haven't already started studying, then you're behind. I have tried countless studying techniques like flashcards and Quizlets, however, I still found myself struggling to comprehend the complex material. After failing my fourth physiology exam in a row, I discovered that the root of the issue was how I was spending my time in class and it was time to make a drastic change. While tools such as flashcards are helpful for last minute review, they cannot replace the comprehension and synthesis of the material. My new test preparation practice begins with my notes. I am familiar with the stress of scrambling to copy everything on the power point while also trying to understand the material; this leads to sloppy, vague notes that are not helpful. To combat this issue, I record all of my lectures, this way, I am not worried about copying the material down and am able to actively engage in the discussion. Then, when I begin studying, I play the recording and begin to transcribe my notes. Recording lectures are vital because it allows me to work at my own pace; I can pause and rewind a recording whenever I want if I need to spend more time on a topic. Then, a few days before the exam, I create and take a practice test based on the week's material so that I'm prepared to answer these difficult questions in the time limit and format of the actual exam. Finally, I grade myself to gauge my understanding of the material; I practice explaining why answers are correct and correcting the incorrect choices to deepen my understanding. With this method, I saw an instant, drastic increase in my test scores and was able to get an A- in the class. I believe that this method is beneficial for any student who is struggling in a class and needs to improve their grade immediately.

Donielle from Ohio
College Freshman
The Ohio State University