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

Regardless of the level of understanding, tests are still scary. The unknown followed by the result is what gives me the willies. That feeling never really goes away until after. However, studying does lessen this feeling. Just doing it doesn't cut it, it's how you do it. Keep in mind that I study over a period of about 2-5 days depending on the difficulty of test.
For me, the first approach to studying is understanding your in-class notes. Your notes are (hopefully) the correct way of interpreting the information thrown at you from class. The best way to understand your notes, is to reread through them with a pencil on hand to clarify things you didn’t have time to write. This works for me because I can physically make connections between topics and examples.
After I have combed through my notes and have done all I can, I turn to the textbook. I’m not saying to mindlessly read the thing but pick individual topics to get specific information and add to your notes. In doing so I can re-reread my notes while adding crucial info gained from the textbook.
Ok, by this point I am ready for the most important part in studying: examples. Examples can be found in (you guessed it) textbooks, online resources like Quizlet, or past homework’s work great. Examples help so much because each is like a mini-test that gauges your progress. Don’t do so well on one example? Boom, there’s another one to take its place. Do enough of these bad boys and your understanding and preparation have skyrocketed since first franticly writing notes on day one.
After I have done examples chapter by chapter, I do a practice test similar to what is expected on the real test. This is beneficial because it familiarizes myself with format I am likely to see on the test. This also decreases any test anxiety during the test because it is something “familiar”.
Lastly, the night before the big test I skim my notes I have perfected and sleep like a baby knowing I AM PREPARED.

Christopher from Texas
College Sophomore
Texas Tech University