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

As a highly dedicated college student, I believe that I have great test preparation practices. Before one begins to study, they must create the environment in which they are going to work. This means making sure that the study area is quiet, that it is free from possible distractions (phone, friends, etc.), and that it is comfortable. Doing these things will allow for greater productivity of the study session.

Studying for a test is not something casual that can be done the night before; cramming has shown to be detrimental to your brain, as the information you already know will be overwhelmed and you will not be able to focus. Depending on the size of the test, I would recommend starting to study 1-2 weeks prior. First, you will want to start by reading over your notes and making note of anything that you may not fully understand so that you can ask your professor or fellow classmates about it. Next, create flashcards or other study tools to really drill the information into your head. Focus on understanding the concepts instead of just memorizing the content. After that, it is a good idea to talk over the information with another student from the class or someone at home so that you can verbally process and understand what you have learned.

All of these methods have worked for me because it is important to break up studying into smaller chunks so that it does not seem as insurmountable as cramming the night before. A change of pace also helps to keep your brain engaged, hence starting by looking over notes and finishing with explaining your knowledge!

Any student will tell you that they've had pre-test jitters the night before. This is why it is important to allow for your brain to have a break by doing something you enjoy, such as watching a movie or reading a book. You can physically and mentally prep yourself by getting a good night's rest and eating a healthy breakfast in the morning to boost your energy. Good luck!

Maria from Wisconsin
College Freshman
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse