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

Test preparation for me begins long before finals week. When I first start a class, I prepare a study guide from the textbook, following along in the chapters as the instructor sees fit. I split notes pages in a Google Doc into sections for vocabulary, main points, and possible test questions or questions that I need clarified from a tutor or classmate. Sometimes I also include a section for visual figures or charts, depending on the class. This study guide is developed through the course of the semester, and I usually work on it on weekends or when I don't have a lot of homework. When tests approach, I review this study guide, get the questions I wrote down answered by tutors or classmates, and clarify points in the study guide using class notes, which I kept separate until now so I could cross-reference them later.

For math and science courses, practicing helps me more than anything else. Usually, a math or science textbook has practice problems in it I can use, and examples to walk me through the process of solving a problem before I attempt it on my own. Often, the instructor will have a practice test available, at least before the final, so completing a practice test familiarizes me with the content and lets me know what I need more work on before the test. I also feel more confident going into a test if I have taken a practice test, and the confidence alone helps reduce any test anxiety I may have.

For courses other than math and science, I rely on flash cards or similar memorization techniques. For Spanish class, I used Google Slides as flash cards, with one slide having a vocabulary word and the next having its English equivalent. There was the limitation of not being able to isolate the words I had more trouble with, but making them took less time and paper. I usually limit the amount of content on each side of a flash card, because memorizing a phrase or short sentence is far easier than memorizing multiple sentences.

Delia from Arizona
College Sophomore
University of Arizona