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

The endless hours and late nights of studying for exams takes a massive toll on the psychological and physical capability of students. In most cases, failure is a result of foregoing preparation for convenience, this is a travesty in the making and is completely preventable. It's critical for students to succeed in academia and life as a whole and “by failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail" (Benjamin Franklin). Test preparation for myself is the intellectual equivalent of running a marathon, not a sprint. I prepare for tests long ahead of their dates as to ensure a thorough understanding of the material and its applications. This requires time management and strong organization stills, I maintain a google calendar of all my upcoming events, both extracurricular and class related to ensure I understand my responsibilities and commitments ahead of time. This allows me to maintain mental health, thus when it comes time to stay up all night studying my body is capable of bearing stress. I also ensure that my study times are unplugged from all electronic distractions and ensure that my friends know as well. Alerting my social network makes them more willing to assist and hold me to my own commitments. It is also effective to include my network by making studying a group activity. I may offer to buy pizza and they quiz me or I become a tutor of some sort, often leading my peers as an informal tutor. I believe it’s a critical role that can raise my peers as well as myself. By acting as an outside class leader and advocate, I can assist others in learning the material, thus reinforcing my own knowledge prior to an exam. These aspects of establishing a strong personal work ethic based around individual and social preparation with others that have similar goals is how I prepare for life’s trials. This manner of test preparation is lifelong and the product is best described by Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Thus, Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Derek from Arizona
College Junior
University of Arizona