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

When it comes to preparing for a big test or exam, nothing is as important to me as repetition. Throughout my educational career, the thing that has worked best for me and yielded the most promising results is reading through course material and quizzing myself repeatedly in a variety of fashions. Sometimes this takes the form of using flash cards, and sometimes it is as simple as reading the definitions of words over and over again until I can recite them word for word. The same way our memory works, I use two main strategies when it comes to repetition in order to get me to memorize something: short-term repetition and long-term repetition.

Short-term repetition is rather simple, and a strategy that many students use today. This strategy is to read through whatever material you may be studying, and once completed, reading through it again. This is, for lack of a better term, "the grind" of my study strategy; this is where I put in the most work. Something important to remember, though, is that the study material has to be relatively small for this to be effective: no more than 20-30 words or facts. Once I have these memorized, I move on to the next set of 20 or 30. Short-term repetition is great for short-term memory, but if you want to remember the course material past the date of the exam, you will need to use long-term repetition.

Long-term repetition is simply studying one section of the course material every single day for a small period of time. This puts a low amount of stress on your brain and gives your mind a chance to recharge. I have used this method for big tests such as final exams or standardized tests and have done so over the course of about two weeks. This method requires one to look ahead and to plan for upcoming tests and is not a very effective cramming method, but I believe it is what has helped me most in my educational career.

No matter what method of preparation I have used, repetition remains the most important factor in my education.

Connor from Arizona
College Freshman
Brigham Young University