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

Tests can be incredibly stressful. For students like me who have test anxiety, tests can be very difficult. There have been many times in the past where I would find myself overwhelmed just studying for a test, let alone taking one. When I would try to study I would get distracted by my surroundings and end up focusing on things like TV or video games. Many times while I would take tests, I would shut down and panic, often-times just guessing my way through. After taking multiple tests in high school and college as well, I’ve come to create a strategy that works for me.
There is a specific strategy I’ve developed for test preparation. I usually study one or two days before the actual test or exam, but if it is a particularly difficult or important test then I study more and in advance. The first step is to find a place to do it in. Usually I study in my room either in my bed or at my desk. The most important part is that I’m in a comfortable place. The reason I do this is so that I’m less distracted and able to focus on studying instead of trying to get comfortable. The next step is to play music that I like. My favorites include anything by Beyoncé, Melanie Martinez, or Bad Bunny. By playing the music I like while I work, I’m able to have fun while I study. The last and most important part of studying is allowing time for breaks and snacking. If I’m studying for something really intimidating like an educational psychology exam, then I pace myself and take breaks every 20 minutes in order to not overwhelm myself. Many of my professors have told me that taste and smell are directly related to memory. Because of this I like to eat snacks, usually hot Cheetos, and light a candle, usually lilac or rose scented.
There is no perfect method for studying. Everyone has a different preference for studying and there are plenty of things I can do to improve my method. The only way to get better at studying is to keep pursuing an education and learning from the past.

James from Indiana
College Junior
Ball State University