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

Preparing for a test can be a daunting task. Thankfully, we can find many helpful tips on how to both prepare and perform well on a test. I believe the following suggestions can transform your testing experiences. First, cramming before the test is a great way to keep the information fresh in your mind. If you try to prepare much ahead of time, you will probably forget the information by test time. Second, try to find below-average classmates with whom you can study. If your peers have low expectations for themselves, you can outdo them and feel like you are excelling! Third, avoid a full night of sleep before the test. Otherwise, you might feel groggy and forget what you just studied. Finally, when you take the test, make sure you tackle the hardest questions first. You can squeeze the easy ones in at the end.

By now, you have hopefully realized that the suggestions above were all listed sarcastically. They would definitely transform your testing experiences, but the transformation would not be a positive one! In addition to doing the opposite of the tips listed above, I would suggest that the best test preparation practice is to do just that—practice preparation. If you can train yourself to form general habits that will be helpful in test preparation, then you have won half the battle. The aspect of preparing ahead of time is also significant. Perhaps the best way to prepare well is to be proactive. Look ahead at the test date, make a schedule of tasks to complete beforehand, study consistently, and ask questions! Remember that failure to plan is planning for failure. If you are proactive in planning ahead, you will not have to worry about being ready for the test—the test will worry about being ready for you.

Stephen from Minnesota
College Junior
University of Northwestern, St. Paul