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

9 steps to beat every test you take:
1. Print any provided study guide or outline and label each topic, for example, from 1-3, 1 being "know it by heart" and 3 being "what is this, alien?" based on how familiar you are with the topic. Now, mostly disregard 1s.
2. Create flashcards for vocabulary, or important terminology, like theorems or processes that you might need to define. (I prefer Quizlet, because using the matching game or test functions for 30 minutes a day until the exam vastly improves mastery.)
3. Complete any provided practice tests, and review previous assessments (if available) to find trends in your strengths and weaknesses.
4. Write your own practice test questions!! This helps with reading questions or directions more closely! This is a useful skill to employ on more than just tests. Start with your weakest areas, and focus little energy on topics you can easily ace.
5. For the love of everything good in this world, use office hours. Your professors have them for a reason! You will only keep struggling if you don't make the effort. Talking to you, freshman honors chemistry.
6. Make sure to eat real, somewhat balanced meals, drink the recommended daily amount of water or more, and get 8 or more hours of sleep at night for at LEAST a week before the exam, if not longer! You know what, better yet, try to just make it a whole lifestyle, too.
7. Do not cram. Ever. EVER. It's bad juju. It increases your stress. It decreases your focus. BAD JUJU. Don't do it. I'm watching you. In fact, study as many days in advance as you can without burning yourself out, but stop the night before the exam.
8. Take the exam and do NOT second guess your answers. Bad idea. Every time you second-guess and change your answer, the standardized testing fairy that haunted our pre-college lives comes back and smacks you with his "WRONG" wand and you lose points. Just don't do it!
9. Celebrate! If you studied, you gave it your all. Go drink some water and take a nap, champ.

Lucy from Arizona
College Freshman
University of Arizona