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

For me, test preparation begins with the first lecture of a class. From personal experience, one cannot adequately prepare for a test the night before the exam is scheduled to take place. That is why I employ the practice of taking notes not only during lectures, but also during my homework reading assignments. Through this method I can retain more information and keep my mind focused while completing homework assignments, which makes the information more readily available when test day comes. This practice also gives me a summary of my assignments and lectures to review before exams, instead of skimming whole passages of reading to refresh my memory. I also find that when I try to study for a test the day before it takes place, I panic, am overwhelmed, and can only think of how little time I have and how I won’t be able to study enough to do well on the test. I waste time in this state of mind, and it is difficult to make myself use the time I do have to retain important information. The distraction and panic carries into the next day. I also lose needed sleep which has been proven to affect test-taking. When I begin intentional test preparation multiple days in advance, the stress of panic is relieved, my mind is clearer, and my retention skills improve. This results not only in improved test scores, but greater physical health and confidence for exam day. Last of all, planning out my time has helped me immensely. I determine how much time I have to study for a test, divide the time between different topics, and set a timer. This helps me to stay on track and not waste time wondering what I should do next. These three methods, taking notes during homework assignments, allowing adequate time to prepare for tests, and planning out my time, have helped me when preparing for exams.

Julia from Texas
College Sophomore
Bob Jones University