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

For me, test preparation begins from the moment I step into the classroom on the first day of the semester. Tests are not assessments of your learning the night before, but they are an opportunity to demonstrate a whole semester (or more) of learning experiences. As the semester goes on, I make opportunities to study class handouts, personal notes, or whatever other materials are available. Some courses, like my survey courses in history, require near-daily studying to produce an adequate learning experience. Weekly study sessions may be all that is necessary for less intensive courses. These regular study sessions are often as simple as reading through my notes and monitoring my comprehension. I quiz myself and look closely at essential concepts that aren’t sticking. This method is effective at supporting a comprehensive understanding of the material instead of a superficial and temporary knowledge.
As the test draws closer, I begin to assess how well I have studied throughout the semester. If I am behind on the content knowledge I need to succeed, I increase my study intensity to ensure I am prepared. I lean on provided study guides when possible to direct my final test preparations. I also use online resources to clarify confusing topics and Momentix study manuals for my standardized tests. After examining these resources, I look through my notes and quiz myself on the material until I am comfortable that I understand the basic points. I then look for connections between content points and create a mental “narrative” of how the content fits together. Afterward, I often engage in my favorite study method: discussion. I group up with some friends who are in the course or interested in the material in general. We discuss what confuses us, how the content applies to us, or even how it makes us laugh. This is by far the most fun and effective when adequately scaffolded by some foundational knowledge from personal studying. Learning doesn’t need to be boring.

Joshua from Michigan
College Junior
Martin Luther College