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

It is that time of the year again, and finals are looming over our heads like a dark cloud. However, preparation is the best tool for any situation, and I make sure to utilize the tools that work best for me. Note taking is a classic and basic way to study for the upcoming exams. It helps me highlight the main topics and most important pieces of information. No page, paragraph, or chapter gets left out, and I can rely on my notes to take me to a passing final grade. However, there are times when notes are not enough and I fall back on another classic study technique, the group study sessions. Discussing and exchanging study materials among classmates gives you a new perspective when preparing for exams. I am never surprised when a fellow student mentions some important info that I completely missed. Accountability is always a trustworthy fail safe and reminds me that I can not always study alone. One of the more unusual study tools that is becoming more common is putting the material into actions or practices. This is where we can get creative. Topics like photography, speech, English, and social studies can be fairly simple to use in daily activities. Other topics like history, economics, or math may prove to be a little more difficult; but, there is always a solution to every problem. I have memorized information and turned it into a song or a chant, I have recited key formulas with funny voices, and some of my friends have even had a history hangman session. Creating a song or a game out of studying helps release the feelings of dopamine from the brain, giving us a good dose of that happy hormone. I have found myself much more relaxed and confident in my memorization and studying when it is actually enjoyable, even if it makes us looks like fools in the moment. My most important tip for preparing for exams is to never do it alone. I have so many reliable and intelligent classmates brimming with helpful hints, and I am always interested to make some new friends.

Rachel from Tennessee
College Freshman
Middle Tennessee State University