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

Proper test preparation begins with notetaking. In my classes, I have found that when I take thorough notes during class lectures, I do much better on my exams. One thing that has helped me tremendously is that I color code my notes, assigning a separate color for main points, subpoints, and sub-subpoints. During class, I listen for any information the instructor casually remarks may be on a test. I then draw an asterisk beside that note. Both color coding and marking test information make information much easier to find when preparing a study guide.

When I have obtained the information I need to study, I begin making flashcards. For this, 3x5 index cards are my go-to. Once completed, I begin going over the flashcards. If I know the answer to the question on the card, I leave the card in the stack and continue. If I am unsure of or need to better review a card, I set that card to the side in a separate pile. At the end of studying, I have two separate piles: the ones I know, and the ones I need to study more, This helps me to hone in on any weak areas to ensure I do not miss them on the test.

Many students prefer to study in groups. While study groups can be a great way to prepare for a test, I often get distracted and do not retain information as well. For this reason, I prefer to study alone in a peaceful environment with some instrumental music playing in the background. I have found that when I do this, I retain information better and, ultimately, I study more efficiently and quickly. It is also important to take small breaks while studying. Simply taking a few minutes to get up and move around helps to reset the brain and lower stress levels.

Lastly, it is important to relax before a test. It is easy to stress about and to over-study something, especially if the test will have a strong weight on the overall grade for that class. However, the most important thing a student should consider is whether he has given his very best.

Tiffany from West Virginia
College Sophomore
Appalachian Bible College