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

I believe knowing one's skill set is the first step in learning the test preparation skills that work for them. For example, I am an auditory learner. I am a freshman Engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh, and the college learning environment has been a difficult one to adjust to. However, through developing an effective personal learning process, I was able to explore different types of study methods in order to find one that worked for me and played to my strengths.
I have found that not only re-reading my notes, but verbally reading them out loud proved helpful for engaging with the material. I also discovered that listening to lectures over again, and watching videos online related to the concept helps me to better retain the information. Although it can be easy for one to passively intake these lectures by zoning-out or losing track of a concept, it is a good exercise to briefly go over and understand all materials in full. It has also proved helpful for me to re-write notes during these video lectures, to ensure I am fully absorbing everything.
Another study habit I have acquired may seem simple, but has proved to make a world of difference in my performance as well as my confidence as a student. To put it simply: "study smart, not hard." This statement means in short, don’t try to cram. Keep up with the materials in class, and set a minimum goal for hours of studying in each subject every week. Although this idea might seem overwhelming, it is much less overwhelming in the long run, as it divides the learning process into small, manageable sections. This helps me feel less overwhelmed when revisiting information before an exam, as I have familiarized myself with it long beforehand.
The studying tactics I have developed have aided me in adapting to the added stress of college. Although I may not always get A’s, I feel confident about myself when I follow these study guidelines before an exam, because I know i tried my best.

Rachyl from New Jersey
College Sophomore
University of Pittsburgh