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

In high school, I was a successful straight A student and by the time senior year rolled around, I had a developed, foolproof method of studying. Thus, when it came time to take my first college exam, I was not worried at all. However, when my test scores came back and revealed a not so ideal score, I realized my “foolproof method” was not as dependable as I had previously thought.

After doing poorly on my first exam, I realized I would have to modify my study habits, which has led me to a new and improved method of studying centered around the idea that you don’t truly know a topic until you are able to explain it to someone else. Now when I know I have an exam coming up I have a three step plan. First, I review all the material that will be covered on the exam. I study the material by myself and make a list of the concepts I do not understand. The first step ensures that I have covered all of the material and am aware of what I do and do not know. Second, I find someone to help me with the material I do not understand. Depending on how busy my schedule is, I may use the professor’s office hours, visit a help room, or simply ask a friend. After completing the second step, I should now understand all of the concepts that will be covered on the exam. Third, I apply everything I have learned alone to a group setting. This is my favorite part of studying because I get to spend time with friends and get work done. Studying with a group is essential because someone may bring up a concept that you forgot to study. Also, if someone doesn’t understand a topic that I am familiar with, I will have the opportunity to explain it to them which will strengthen my own understanding of the topic. The third step ensures that I understand the material so well that I can explain it to others and am able to use concepts to answer questions. After implementing my new and improved method of studying, I began to do better on my exams and I went back to being a straight A student!

Lindsay from Michigan
College Sophomore
Michigan State University