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

I am a visual and a tactile learner and not all of my test preparation strategies will work for every student.

Since I am a visual learner, I have to enable myself to relearn or study the material. I do that by taking organized and color-coordinated notes while originally learning the information or by making new notes with information specific to the exam I am preparing for. I always hand write my notes because I need to actually feel the pen in my hand and see the words on paper to learn the material.

Once the notes are complete, I identify the key topics and potential test questions and format that information into flash cards. For these flashcards, I usually use an online flashcard service such as Quizlet instead of writing them down by hand. These websites allow me to study my information on my own instead of needing a partner to go over paper flashcards. I make the flashcards well in advance to give ample time to study. At least a week before the exam, I’ll begin studying. If any questions or problems are generated, I’ll have time to ask the teacher for clarification.

It is perfectly okay to ask the teacher questions about the test. If the questions are well enough in advance, the teacher will usually feel inclined to initiate a whole-class review where other students can ask questions as well. By listening to my peers ask questions, I become aware that there are facts I don’t know that I don’t know and I can relearn that information.

It is important to me to not procrastinate. If I procrastinate on the note-making or flashcard-making process, I become stressed and will not be able to retain the information as efficiently as normal. It is essential that I do not cram the information before the exam as I will forget in the heat of the moment. Planning study time to review my notes or study the flashcards is necessary for me to do well on an exam.

All in all, these are some specific test preparation strategies that I use to be successful for my exams.

Julia from North Carolina
College Sophomore
Berklee College of Music