Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
One week before the test date, I would glance over the key concepts to get a sense of how many hours I need to spend on each chapter. Usually, if I have enough time, I would dedicate at least a day of studying towards each chapter. However, I would study the chapters with the most difficult concepts first, because I want to get the harder materials out of the way incase I run out of time for it. Over the course of the week, I would have a list of questions that I would write down before going to office hours or group study sessions. Often, I would start the day off by reading over the chapter first and then writing down a list of questions that I have for the professor. Before heading over to their office hours, I would do some practice problems as testing yourself is the best way to prepare for an exam. Finally, I would head over to the professor or my group studying session with a list of questions from the reading and a list of the practice problems that I could not solve. This usually takes about three to four hours a day, so I would take short breaks and walk around or eat before resuming back to it. One thing that has worked well for me throughout my academic career is to sleep on a problem. I would think about a problem before going to bed and then wake up with a solution. After about a week, I would be confident to say that I can get at least a 90% on my test due to the amount of hours I have put into the materials. Studying strategies like this will help you retain these concepts for a much longer time. Even if you forget the materials in the future, the time it takes you relearn those material would be much faster. About one day before the test, I would briefly look over all the materials again and then distract my mind with something else, because overthinking can negatively impact you sometimes. At around ten at night, I would try my best to sleep as it is very crucial to get eight hours of sleep before heading over to the exam next morning.
Xiao Yi from Arizona
University of Arizona