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

Tests are an inevitable part of everyone's college career. And while they may be stressful, there is a lot that can be done to prepare oneself before the exam.
The first and most important thing is to start studying early. Studying at least a week in advance helps me to mentally prepare myself to review the extent of the material that will be covered. Starting early aids me in getting organized and discourages the temptation to cram instead of learning the material. Preparing early also means more time to spend engaged with the material; the more time you spend studying the content, the better you will learn it. Your friends and classmates may encourage you to do otherwise, but remember that this is your grade and not theirs, take matters into your own hands and keep your eyes on getting an A.
Second, split up the material into sections and tackle each section on separate days. Studies have shown that sleeping solidifies learned/studied material. So, spending a couple of days studying the material in chunks and then having time to sleep on it helps you learn and remember things better. I typically spend Mon., Wed., Fri., and Sun. studying for one exam/subject, and the other days I spend studying for another course. This allows me to focus on just one subject per day and solidify the material separately.
My preferred study methods are rewriting/redoing my notes (quizlets are great) and practice problems and filling in study guides provided by the professor (when they are available). Rewriting notes refreshes my memory and rebuilds the foundations of what I have learned. Study guides are great when you have them since they tell you what the professor is expecting you to know. However, they're not all-encompassing, so I also study supplemental material.
Lastly, I review things as a whole (the day before). This shows me the big picture of the content and refreshes things I studied early on.

Timothy from Pennsylvania
College Sophomore
University of Pittsburgh