Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
1. Don’t panic. You’ve got this.
2. Repeat step 1 until you’ve built up some crucial self-belief (please ignore the cheesiness).
3. Congratulations! Now for the simplest, yet most intimidating step. Start! Procrastination creeps in easily and is tough to overcome. I like to review the syllabus the day a test is announced. It’s not much work, it helps me plan ahead, and it gets me off the mark!
4. Before preparing for the test, invest time into finding how you learn best. I like to watch Khan Academy videos and then read the textbook, summarizing the material in my own words. Study guides and flowcharts are also great tools!
5. It often helps to break down huge walls of text into small, easily-digestible chunks (just like this list!). Post-its and highlighters are really useful!
6. WRITE! Our brains quickly forget things if we don’t actively work to remember them. Writing helps me solidify connections in my mind, put my thoughts down coherently, and makes for a handy revision tool.
7. Take breaks! Post-midnight study marathons may seem necessary, but I could never focus after an hour or two. Instead, I let my subconscious meditate on what I’ve learned while I listen to music or read a book. Fifty minutes of work followed by ten-minute breaks is a great balance!
8. Revise! Quizlet, flashcards and practice tests all work. Repetition makes concepts stick and getting things right while revising gives me a huge confidence boost.
9. Find an unsuspecting victim (aka friendly classmate) and try to explain what you have learned to them. If they understand, then you are all set! Else, maybe glance at your flashcards again. Others can also remind you of things you may have missed!
10. Look after yourself. Test preparation is draining. I like to focus on the simple things, like sleeping enough before a test- you can’t do well if you aren’t awake! Take care of this, and acing tests is a formality!
Siddhant from California
University of California at Berkeley