Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
The week leading up to the test, I do a combination of studying and taking practice tests. While studying the material is helpful in covering all the material that is needed to ace the test, I often already have a certain amount of the material down, and therefore do not need to study it. The best way to figure out which material I already know is to take practice tests and go back and study the material I did poorly on. While studying that material, I always eat chocolate, as eating chocolate while studying has been shown to improve retention rates.
My second step for test success is to not study the night before. While most people cram most of their studying into the night before the test, I opt instead to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Getting a good night's sleep is something that I sometimes struggle with the night before a test, due to the high pressure that is often accompanying the exam. However, being well rested is something that greatly improves my performance, so I do my best to get 8 hours the night before.
Lastly, the morning of the exam, I always listen to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses. Listening to Guns N’ Roses is something that started in high school. My AP US History teacher would play Guns N’ Roses before every test we had in his class, and because I loved the class and the material, I began associating Guns N’ Roses with performing well on tests.
While some of my testing strategies are based in psychological research and others in conditioning, they have helped me perform my best on a multitude of high-stress exams.
Bryce from Arizona
University of Arizona