Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
I have several strategies that I use a combination of. One thing I’ve learned is that I remember material better if I say it out loud. So I will go through my notes or study guide and actually read everything out loud, several times. I don’t know if it is saying it, or hearing it, that makes it stick in my brain better. But it is definitely better than reading it silently. If I am taking a standardized test like the ACT, I like to take a lot of practice tests beforehand. It helps me get used to the test format, how questions are phrased, the ways the questions might kind of trick you, and how long to spend on each question. I figure, if I take several practice tests, and if I get a better score each time, then I can figure I will probably again get a better score when I take the actual test. I know it is recommended to not have a lot of distractions while preparing for a test, but I really think I do better when I listen to music. I do not find it distracting. It helps me relax, and it helps drown out the outside distracting noises. During finals week and the week leading up to it, I try to make kind of a schedule, so that I have somewhat of an idea of what is due when. I want to make sure to pace myself, and take care of first things first. I also want to try to avoid being up til 6:00 a.m. writing a paper when I have a 7:45 a.m. exam. I do not like to study or prepare with a group or a partner. For me, it is too stressful to try to schedule around other people’s schedules. It just adds one more thing to think about. Also, it is too easy to get off topic. You can start talking about music, or a basketball game, or a party, and then an hour has passed and nothing has been accomplished. I also try to keep my lifestyle healthy when I’m preparing for exams. I try to eat every meal, and eat fairly healthy, and I try to run pretty regularly to help relieve stress.
Emmanuel from Michigan
Loyola University New Orleans