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

I have maintained a high GPA in college while balancing work and leadership roles. This has not been an easy feat, but with hard work and great test preparation practices, I have achieved great grades. With my good grades, I landed an internship at JP Morgan Chase as a sophomore and was selected to attend a prestigious study abroad program in China that was 100% free. As great test preparation has afforded me opportunities I never imagined, I would love to share my techniques with others with the hope they will receive life changing blessings as I have.

Firstly, exam preparation does not begin the night before the exam. I attend and am engaged in every lecture. Following along in class will set a great foundation of the various concepts that will be on the exam. I even read the textbook before class to make the most of the lecture. This works for me because it sets a great foundation for me to build off of as professors cover the subtle, but fundamental, details students might miss. While practicing or studying later on, I will understand the "how" and "why" of a particular concept; rather than just knowing how to mechanically solve a problem or memorize it. Additionally, professors might use real world examples or applications to add context to a concept or problem. If I get stuck on an exam, I can think of ways a concept or problem applies in the world I live and think through the question to derive the right answer. This is a more reliable and effective method of test taking than blindly memorizing.

After gaining a good understanding of the concept from lectures, I routinely review the concepts discussed in class in several day intervals until the exam. This drills the concepts and problems into my head with ease. There is psychological evidence that studying in advance before exams increases performance and it holds true for me. Near the exam, I lightly review the material and make sure I get 8 hours of sleep and a healthy breakfast.

Victor from Texas
College Junior
University of Houston