Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
“If I were a test question, where oh where would I be?” That thought might sound kind of silly, but my best test prep strategy has been to pretend I’m the teacher, writing the test. I use this perspective when I read through the textbook and my notes. First I look for important underlying things that I would want a student to understand if I was teaching the class. Once I know what concepts I would focus on, I think about how I could word an exam question to test their knowledge. After I’ve done this for the main concepts, I move on to the subtleties of the material. This is when I look for trick questions or questions that require careful consideration. Making these types of questions requires me to note specific definitions of terms, differences between similar concepts, and overall develop a stronger grasp of the material. This part of my preparation helps me to anticipate harder questions so that I am not panicked or blindsided on my exam. The final step in my test preparation is actually teaching the material. The more I explain what I know, especially the harder concepts, the better I understand it. Bonus points if I get to use some of my own test questions to help my friends study!
Overall, this strategy helps me to not be overwhelmed by the idea of preparing for a test. By placing myself in my teacher’s shoes, I am better prepared for the test ahead.
Megan from Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign