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

Stress. Anxiety. Failure. Most students experience these feelings and emotions when preparing for tests, whether the ACT, SAT, or even a routine exam. I have done my best, both throughout high school as well as my first year of college, to avoid this type of negativity by the following test preparation practices.
Prioritizing sleep. Yes, some might view this practice as being lazy, selfish, or as a comforting avoidance technique, however many studies have shown that students that ensure they sleep a proper amount each night (not only before exams!) score higher overall grades. The main reason for this is being well rested promotes higher brain functions which in turn allows students to feel motivated and prepared for studying.
Exercising might be the last item of some lists, however I tend to make it a priority because it provides both health benefits as well as a great opportunity to clear the brain of confusion and fog. Generally if a problem or project is really weighing me down I will try and go for a walk, or even just leave my room to clean another part of the house. This gives my mind a break, and helps fill me with the energy needed to complete my task.
In terms of actual study methods, I try to focus less on the idea of a final exam and work towards doing my best work on each project I complete. I have found that each time I complete the little projects with all my energy, I learn more about the ideas and concepts necessary to perform well on the final exams. In a way I suppose one could say I utilize a non-study method to prepare for tests. If a professor hands out a study guide I try to conceptualize any terms or ideas they highlight, and only focus on studying ideas that I am very confused about. This way I am not wasting time on points I already have a firm grasp on, and am only study a few key ideas.
Between the sleep, exercise, and I believe that my smart studying methods have helped me succeed with most tests I have taken.

Katrina from Minnesota
College Sophomore
Concordia University, Saint Paul