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

A successful strategy is vital for success. I am always in preparation mode for exams as spaced repetition is key to retention. Last minute binge studying is an ineffective method and does not work for me. I use a different strategy for each type of exam I face.
1) Memory-Based Exams: Writing helps me retain information. After each class, I create flashcards in Quizlet and use the Learn function, which forces me to type out the answers instead of responding to multiple choice questions. Flashcard review has been particularly helpful in my foreign language classes.
2) Problem Solving and Application Based Exams: Once I know what the exam content is, I ask for extra practice questions from my professors. I also check in with my peers for clarification on problems I get wrong.
3) Essay Based Exams: I familiarize myself with the main concepts before every class. Additionally, I place a marker next to concepts I do not understand while I take notes from the textbooks and in-class lectures, and follow up, regularly, with my professors for clarification.
These steps help me to stay on top of the work so that I do not fall into the trap of last minute studying. Two days before the exam, I go to bed early so that I can wake up refreshed. Breakfast is critical for me as I cannot think straight without food in the morning. The most important thing is to understand what I am being tested on early on in the semester. I ask for study sheets, extra practice problems, or any support I deem necessary and use my study time to focus on the most challenging concepts. These strategies have helped me to manage stress, achieve academic success, and land on the deans' list each semester for the past two years.

Angel from New Jersey
College Sophomore
wheaton College - MA