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

When pondering the dreaded midterm or final exams, I feel myself wanting to block out even the thought of the hours of studying, not to mention actually taking the test. Fortunately, I have learned that implementing certain strategies in my study routine can drastically change my outlook on these tests. I categorize tests into multiple choice/true or false tests, memorization tests, and problem-solving tests.

Before even starting to study, I try to get enough sleep so that my studying is more productive, with my brain well rested. Next, I try to start early to not be stressed out the night before the test. If I start procrastinating, I envision how stressed out I would be and how much worse I would do on the test.

For multiple choice/true or false tests, I reference the chapters that are covered by the test, to make detailed flashcards with the concepts and keywords. I read through the chapters, and flip through the flashcards a few times to reinforce in my brain with what will be on the test.

For tests in which I must memorize content word for word, I divide up the information into manageable sections so that it is not so daunting. With each section, I read through it and see if I can recall it from memory. Once I can recall each from memory, I know I am prepared for the test. Making easy-to-remember acronyms also helps me with memorization.

With problem-solving tests, such as math tests, I study by individually solving problems that I think will be on the test. With ones that I have a harder time with, I practice multiple times.

Some strategies I apply to all types of tests I study for. In order to increase my productivity, I will periodically take short breaks, such as taking a walk or eating a snack, in between studying to give my brain a rest. Also, so I do not get burnt out and lose motivation, I will listen to my favorite movie soundtracks while I study, which not only helps me focus, but also makes me enjoy studying.

Katherine from Virginia
College Sophomore
Liberty University