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

To be successful on exam day, I’ve learned that it’s never too early to start preparing. I found it best for myself, to set reminders in my phone 2 weeks before the exam to tell me to start studying. I would give myself that much time so that I could dedicate the first week to study material that I had learned from past lectures till that week, as it’s easy to forget what you have learned that far into exam preparation. For week two, I would be able to focus on the information presented during exam week to have the best understanding of that new information. I was told by a learning professional that the brain only absorbs 45 minutes of information in a sitting, so I implemented that into my process. For example, if I had to study for Chemistry and Physiology. In the first hour of my study session, I would choose a topic in Chemistry, like vapor pressure curves for example, and I would study and work on that topic for the 45 minutes till I was confident with the information. Once the 45 minutes was up, I would take a 15- 20-minute break and move on to Physiology and repeat the process for a physio topic. I would repeat the cycle for the topics till I was good for the night and made sure I went to sleep right away because it would help me retain the info into the next morning. A good way to know if you are confident on a topic that could be on the exam is, “Can I teach this information to a peer, friend, or even my professor?” If yes, then you are ready to Ace that topic. If not, keep working until you can. Another tip is, take advantage of hand-written flashcards. Not only do they incorporate memory retrieval, but you are also helping your mind learn the information as you are writing them.
While everyone has a different method of studying and everyone learns differently, the best way for everyone to be successful on the exam is being prepared and confident in the materials that could be presented on the exam and not be surprised on the exam. Hard work pays off.

Angelica from Arizona
College Junior
University of Arizona