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

Staring a final exam in the face, totally lost? Coming up on the first quiz of the semester with no idea what's going on? Here are some several great general practices for test preparation, which include the following:

1. Review your notes and textbook (if applicable) for test-likely information. In other words, look for information that is likely to show up on an exam - with enough experience with tests in general, predicting this can actually be fairly easy - and study that. Make sure you know those concepts inside out. Study everything else, too, because there is always that question that throws you off, but identify essential concepts and make sure you understand those

2. Quiz yourself on concepts presented (e.g. The teacher mentioned the formula for the circumference of a circle. What is the formula?), and determine what is hardest to remember. Shore up those weaknesses, as tests have an annoying habit of concentrating the most questions in the area you are least prepared for (or so it seems).

3. Keep it simple. A lot of people will suggest flashcards, mnemonics, or something over the top. Stick to the notes and/or textbook that you have, and study information there. "Lost in translation" problems are real, and that is certainly applicable to material in school (e.g. taken out of context, misspellings that change meanings, etc.). Keep it simple.

4.. Recognize that information you are taught is not designed for confusion. Math is meant to be logical, business concepts weren't invented by malicious professors, and teachers often get pay raises when their students score well (read Freakonomics). Don't stress over your test and assume the worst. School, in general, is pretty straight-forward. Keep Calm and Stay Logical.

Of course, the best way to prepare for a test is to learn the material as you go, to the point where you don't even have to study, you know it so well. Nonetheless, these strategies are a great way to prepare for the next upcoming quiz or exam!

Paul from California
College Junior
San Diego State University