Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
The first thing I had to come to terms with was that it is okay to ask for help. Utilizing tutors, office hours, study groups, and other people didn't mean I wasn't smart. It just meant I needed a little support in reaching my full test preparation potential. By scheduling my daily life around some of these resources, I realized that the best way for me to nail my tests is to give myself time.
It didn't take long for me to figure out that I had to study at my own pace. Even though some of my peers could put off studying until the night before and do well didn't mean that would work for me. I needed to put in the extra work and focus on my work and my work only.
To help myself schedule and prep, I came up with GOAL which stands for gather, organize, analyze, and learn. No matter the content being studied, I follow this acronym.
First, I gather all information that's going to be tested on. This includes study guides, notes, reading materials, practice questions, and anything else provided to me.
Next, I organize. This entails sectioning off information either by chapter, unit, or type of potential question.
Next, I analyze. This is where I acknowledge and view the material. I've found creating flashcards to work best, as they serve as a repetitive and clear tool.
Last, I learn. This is where I really thrive with time. I practice the materials over and over until they feel not only memorized, but understood. Any questions that arise during this step I utilize my support so there's nothing that could throw me off.
By breaking down the process and really going through it slowly with this concept has helped me immensely. Everyone learns differently, and I feel proud that I embraced that and have, as well as continued to grow as a test taker. GOAL's rock!
Madeline from Arizona
University of Arizona