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

Since joining UNC at Charlotte, my classes have gotten harder and I have had to try different test practices to find what works best for me. I have never had a problem with tests in the past, but that first D I got informed me that things had changed. At first, I started cramming, reviewing all the information I needed to know for the test both the night before and the morning of. When that didn’t work, I made flashcards and started quizzing myself, still the night before and the morning of because I had learned to study before I went to sleep that way it would go into my long-term memory during REM sleep. Test scores were still not improving; this time I had decided to study a week in advance, to separate it into short sessions over each day. After this method I was confident that I knew all the information, understood it all, and was well prepared for the next test. Unfortunately, my test scores didn’t improve much; completely mind-boggled, as I know I’m an intelligent person and I understood all the content on the test. For some reason, when handed the test, it all seemed foreign to me; I had mentioned this to someone in class and they asked if I had test anxiety. I had never even considered that, as I’ve never had issues with tests in the past and honestly, I didn’t even know that was a thing. On the next test I decided to spend less time cramming and more time trying to relax, while avoiding caffeine shortly before the test. When getting ready, I reminded myself to close my eyes and take deep breaths. I used this time to pep talk myself and remind myself that I knew this information, and this was my time to prove that to my teacher. Surely enough, I scored 2 letter grades higher than the previous test. I have learned over the course of this last semester, that not only does it take studying in small bits over the course of a week, but that I also need to chill out and be confident in my ability to take the test.

Amber from North Carolina
College Sophomore
University of North Carolina at Charlotte