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

My study habits from the beginning of my academic career were virtually non-existent. I remember year after year, my mother and teachers would remind me how important building effective study habits were - I never listened. I figured since I could score high on my exams without studying, taking the time out to study was unnecessary.

Fortunately for me, I received a major wake-up call when I started my first year of high school and it only got worse for as I entered college. My method for preparing for quizzes and exams, which was essentially cramming the day before, was no longer going to work. It took me quite a few years to listen to what mother and teachers used to say to me all those years ago and figure out the study method that was right for me. On this journey, there was plenty of trial and error, but I was eventually able to figure out what worked.

My study plan starts with a review of the syllabus the day before a new lesson is set to begin. Familiarizing myself with the syllabus allows me to gain a better understanding of the lesson and come up with questions to ask my professor. When I am in class, I take notes, keeping in mind the topics I read in my syllabus any information my professor says to know for the exam. Once my class is over, I head straight to my room and run through all of the notes I wrote in class. My goal is not to memorize anything but to simply gain a better understanding of what I was taught.

I like to do this routine every day until the day or few days before the test, depending on how much I have to study. On my final day, I take the time to sit down with my notes and study guide (if provided) to review everything one last time. Since I have already reviewed my notes, it makes it much easier when studying to remember what I need. The goal here is to reduce the pressure and make studying feel less overwhelming, and so far, it has worked for me.

Trisha from Maryland
College Sophomore
Emerson College