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

For an upcoming test I like to prepare myself in several key ways. These steps have worked for me almost every time.
First, I like to rewrite my notes from lecture or class in a fresh second notebook. I use the Cornell notes style for it looks organized with headers, sub headers, and bullet points. I’ll also use colored pens/highlighters to bring to attention keywords or points that I need to know. I use colored sticky notes to draw out diagrams/graphs. This saves space for text notes as well as brings to attention certain diagrams/graph I should read over in preparation. If the class has a book, I like to read through relevant information and see if my notes can be strengthened with that material as well.
Second, I like to make flashcards if I need to memorize definitions or specific terms. I also like to use colored pens/highlighters here as well in the definitions portion. I will bolden or highlight certain keywords within the definition, this acts as trigger words when I’m studying or memorizing the cards. Flashcards in my opinion work better than Quizlet because you can touch the card and shuffle through the cards you already know versus the ones that need a little extra attention.
Thirdly, I like to implement study groups/SI sessions into my test preparation as much as I can. I find it helps to work in groups especially for an upcoming test because your peers can teach you concepts as well as you can teach them. I know I have mastered a concept when I can logically explain it to someone else. SI sessions are usually group orientated as well but with SI there is a student instructor who has taken the course and can answer almost any question I may have.
Lastly, I feed my brain as much as I can with very healthy foods during test preparation time. I try to stay away from junk food, energy drinks, or just caffeine in general. I try to sleep a full 8 hours before test day because I’ve read studies about how your brain retains more information with small naps.

Elaina from California
College Freshman
University of Arizona