I'll add my $0.02

My method is to use 1/2 sheet of 8X10 paper, f8, start with 10 sec exposure, then take my burning board and do 2 sec exposures across the sheet. This way I end up with exposures of 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 seconds. If it's way off (too light or too dark) I'll change the fstop the appropriate way, make another strip. This happened more when I started back, with some experience now I can usually judge fstop correctly. How do I decide which time to use? I look for the first true black and print with that time......

Good luck. And remember, practice, practice, practice..........