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

The best way I prepare for exams is by studying for several (3-4) days before—a little bit every day. I use flashcards for memorization, I write out my answers and thoughts, do practice problems and review my notes from class. I create study groups and explain difficult concepts to people and ask them questions, so I can hear their perspective and how they remember things. If any reviews are offered by the professor or TA, then I will attend them. If there is a concept on the test that I still don’t understand after studying, then I will contact the professor or TA to try and figure it out.

The night before an exam, I will do a meditation or a visualization exercise which brings me a sense of calm when I take the exam the next day. They always have positive messages and help you remember that tests and school aren’t the only things that are important. I do them at night right before bed because they help calm my brain down. Then I sleep instead of worrying about the hours I could be studying instead of sleeping.

I make sure I go to bed early enough so I will get 7-8 hours of sleep. I eat breakfast in the morning and drink plenty of water. If my exam is in the morning, then I don’t study before the exam that morning. I trust that I have learned all that I can and that my brain will remember what I need to know.

If it is a multiple-choice exam, and I do not know the answer, I don’t dwell on the question for too long. I mark it so I can come back to it later and then skip it. If I have absolutely no idea what the answer is, I will guess A. I use A every time because if you use the same letter, you have a better chance of getting a higher score.

These methods work for me because I don't feel too rushed or like I'm cramming because I give myself enough time to review all of the information and ask questions if I need to. Taking care of my physical and mental health allows me to achieve the highest score possible.

Allison from Utah
College Junior