Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
In order to being preparing for an exam, the first step is being motivated to succeed. If you don't know why you're doing what you're doing and there's a lack of motivation from your end, the results are going to show that. Whenever I have an exam, I always remind myself what goals I'm trying to accomplish, and why I'm doing what I'm doing. Keeping reasonable yet challenging goals for yourself will help set yourself up for success, because having an endpoint in mind will boost your motivation to begin what you started. When I begin studying for an exam, my endpoint is a good grade. But there's more to it. I want to get that good grade, so I can do well in the class. Doing well in the class will help maintain or boost my GPA, putting me in good academic standing and eventually helping me get into graduate school, which is my ultimate goal. Having that ultimate goal is the driving factor to do well in my classes, it gives me something to strive for. Now, in studying for exams, I give myself a week before the exam to review the material. Taking hand written notes in class is very useful, because the information gets engrained into your memory more than when you type or listen alone. Once I have those notes, the method I have found most useful for studying is simply repetition. I reread my notes over and over again a couple times a day leading up to the exam, and by the last couple days I am bored of the material which is a good sign, because it means I know the information inside and out. If I stumble across something I am unsure of, I look it up and try and figure it out, or I go see my TA's or email my professors. Those people are there to help you, don't be afraid to utilize them! I have been using this method for a little over a year now, and I find that it works for me because just constant exposure to the material is very effective. Whether it be rereading notes, talking out loud and explaining concepts to myself, or practice problems, repetition is key!
Katherine from Minnesota
University of Pittsburgh