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

How well someone prepares for major (or any minor) tests can make or break their success in any particular course. I have a system for tests that has allows me to walk into the class with confidence after a good night’s sleep. First, as soon as I hear the test date, I plan out a study schedule that fits in with my other classes and my work responsibilities. I try to give these a few days apart, while also trying not to put them after the class in question. This allows me to spend that after-school time on immediate homework, and not overload my brain with too much information on one subject. Then, I break the subject matter out into as many sections as I have study days. This is usually between 6 and 8 groups of material. The material is usually broken up into lectures, so I only pull out two or three lectures’ worth of notes at a time. This allows me to focus in on the topics in each lecture that were giving me the most trouble. After, I make sure to spend each of my sessions is spent on the most challenging work first, before moving on to light review material. I make sure I have all of my quizzes and notes, which are rewritten and organized when I do any short-term homework. I look first at any questions on quizzes or such that I missed, and then spend the bulk of my time reviewing the concepts behind those questions. I make sure not to neglect any material though, always leaving time at the end of the session to skim my notes and refresh all covered concepts in my mind. Lastly, I try if possible to meet up with a friend, and we take turns quizzing each other on the material. Then if either of us is having issues, we take time to teach each other. This usually solidifies each concept because teaching requires a deeper understanding of the material than learning. This test-preparation system works really well for me because it allows me to really target my weak points, and focus in on deeper understanding of the material.

Molly from Louisiana
College Freshman
Loyola University New Orleans