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

My test preparation begins at home, before the lecture and before exams. I like to prepare for lectures ahead of time by quickly reading the material we will be discussing so as to follow along easier. This prepares me to write down any questions I have during lecture; I usually use sticky notes for this. Several days after each lecture, I will condense my notes into a separate notebook, ensuring to summarize and emphasize important points. Highlighters come in handy here. I will also answer any questions I have regarding the material or research any background information necessary to understanding concepts. If I need further clarification on any material, I will reach out to the professor or a teaching assistant for help.

When exam time nears - about a week ahead of time - I begin preparation by redoing any homework problems the professor assigned previously. I also complete all of the teacher's practice materials (if available). This way, I familiarize myself with the professor's style of questions and anticipate what they might ask on the test. Additionally, I create a condensed (one or two page) study guide consisting of difficult concepts or things I am having trouble remembering. Lastly, about a day before the exam, I read through all of my notes for a final time to ensure I haven't missed anything.

I always make sure to utilize every resource offered by my professor whether it's a textbook, PowerPoint slides, or other supplementary readings. It's crucial to be cognizant of what the teacher expects you to learn. Furthermore, using additional resources (YouTube videos, supplementary books, etc.) allows a deeper understanding of concepts which can be useful in deducing answers to problems that you may not know.

Sasha from Pennsylvania
College Junior
University of Pittsburgh