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

I have always struggled with nervousness during exams, sometimes even getting nervous days before the exam was to take place. I don’t think it will completely go away, but I have learned to diminish its effects with some test taking habits I have acquired over the years. They help me relax and focus, especially during finals and midterms.
One of the first things I discovered I was doing incorrectly was the amount of sleep I would get before an exam. I would stay up late trying to cram in as much studying as I could. It would result in less sleep and a stress filled exam. I now try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep the night before any of my exams. I feel better about the exam and I can think clearly during it.
Eating before the exam is also really important. I need to make sure to have enough fuel in my body to function at my best. Sometimes I’ll eat an apple, if I can stomach it, before my exam. One of my professors mentioned it has been statistically proven that it helps you do better on a test. Even though I usually don’t feel like eating the day of my exam, because of nerves, I try and eat a bowl of yogurt, fruit and granola in the morning and a sandwich for lunch. Having food and energy helps me focus.
The next practice I found really worked for me, was taking the time to review and rewrite my notes. I do this for my harder classes, such as science and math classes. I take thorough notes during class, then afterwards I either write a summary of the main points of my notes or rewrite them in a more coherent way on another page, it depends on how many pages of notes I had taken for that day. This style of note taking makes it easier to study and helps me recall the information during an exam.
I study the material the week leading up to an exam. Depending on how important or difficult the exam will be, I start intensely studying two days before an easier exam and five days for a harder exam. I read over my notes carefully, sometimes making clarifications and writing these down, or repeating it out loud to myself. I make sure to note if any of my professors say that a certain question will be on an exam. It helps calm my nerves when I go over my notes quickly at least twice immediately before I actually sit down to take the exam.

Lily from Arizona
College Sophomore
Pima Community College