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

I knew of my first biology exam at least three weeks in advance but still panicked. So I had to take matters into my own hands in order to calm my test anxiety. A big part of test preparation is knowing what triggers test anxiety and how to maintain it. The best test preparation strategy that works well for me is designing mock exams based on the syllabus and lecture notes as well as relaxing the day before an exam.

Designing a mock exam based on past lecture notes has been one of the test preparation practices for me. Two weeks before my first biology exam, I asked my professor what his exams typically look like. He said the majority of his tests are short answer questions with multiple choice. This gave me a great outline as to how I should lay out a mock exam. I created 4-5 short answer questions in which I would have to elaborate on my answers. This allowed me to practice writing test answers out at the college level. In short, by the time my first biology exam came around, I felt prepared about the content. On the other hand, I’ve spent at least two weeks preparing for this exam so, I needed a way to get my mind of it. The day before the real exam, I looked over the mock exams that I’ve created as well as my lecture notes. I wouldn’t study them in-depth, I would simply look over them. Then, I would take the rest of the day and the evening for some sort of self-care. The night before my first biology test, I remember putting on a face mask, cleaning my room, and eating a good dinner. This really eased any anxiety that was starting to bubble up the day before the exam.

In the end, I did well on this first exam. After applying this method out for different classes, I realized that I really learned to manage my test anxiety. If I know the material and how professors may ask questions on the exam, then I felt fine. It also just takes a couple of face masks and cleaning to clear my mind of anything distracting and anxiety-inducing.

Karen from South Carolina
College Sophomore
Converse College