Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
I'm a procrastinator, through and through, and that means that I tend to put off studying, too (I'm working on it!). My first semester of college has taught me a thing or two, including the fact that you can't always put off studying... like for, say, a Chemisty exam... learned that one the hard way.
To prepare for big tests now, I go through the material that will be on the test about a week in advance. I look through all the old homework assignments and try and redo the problems. Any problem that I don't immediately know how to do, I put aside. Once I've covered all the material once, I make a list of the problems I missed, and what concepts they embody. Then, throughout the next week, I focus my studying on those. About halfway through the week I'll look back and study through the problems/concepts that I understood from the beginning. This does a few things for me. 1) it allows my brain a bit of a break and, 2) it boosts my confidence. Studying challenging topics for a week straight can really drag you down, especially when you are already stressed for an exam. It's super important for me that I take this break so I can rest up, boost my confidence a bit, and then get back to hitting the books.
The few days leading up to the exam, I make sure that I eat well and try and get at least eight hours of sleep the night before the exam. I've found that I am able to perform better when I feel better, and healthy meals and adequate sleep help achieve that. When I walk into the exam (and pay attention here because these are the most important steps!), I take deep breaths and small sips of water. At this point, I know that I have done all I could do in preparation for the exam and, regardless of the outcome, I put in my best effort. I can't ask myself for more than that!
Olivia from Arizona
University of Arizona