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

As a college student, I know exams can be stressful, but one simple way to reduce test anxiety is to be prepared. People prepare for exams in all sorts of ways, because everyone learns differently. Since I am a very visual learner, I have found that taking detailed, organized notes throughout the semester and studying from practice quizzes helps me to recall information during exams.
When taking notes, I write very neatly. This not only ensures that I can read my notes, it makes conjuring up a mental image of the notes a lot easier because they were visually pleasing to study. I often jot down a rough version of notes during lectures, then rewrite them neatly afterwards. Writing down the same words twice helps me retain the information. I also organize information into color coded main points and subpoints. Organizing my notes into color coded main points, subpoints, and sub-subpoints is another strategy that helps me to visualize all the facts that were taught about each topic. For example, if a test question asked to which phylum mushrooms belong, I could visualize the word ‘mushrooms’ and know it was written in purple along with the words ‘phylum basidiomycota.’ With that I could answer the question.
Taking notes and studying from them isn’t the only way I prepare for exams; I also utilize online practice quizzes. Whether the practice quizzes are from the course textbook or an external website like Quizlet.com, I find it useful and stress reducing to answer some practice questions before exam time. Practice quizzes allow me to make mistakes and learn from them, so that I won’t make the same mistakes on the real exam. Sometimes I even get lucky and see the same exact question on both a practice test and a real one.
Taking neat and precisely organized notes as well as making use of practice quizzes has helped me to maintain a GPA of 3.94 after two years of college. I believe these test preparation strategies are very well suited for visual learners like me.

Nina from Illinois
College Junior
Colorado State University - Global