Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
My test preparation practices consist of writing my study notes in various colors, going back and highlighting important and little known points, verbally reading what I'm highlighting, silently reading my notes in whole, and reread concepts that I do not completely understand. Because I have thyroid disease and ADD my short-term memory is extremely short and does not function as efficiently as it once did, so I have to get creative when studying for exams. I was once told that coming across the same information at least seven times can help to retain that information. Each color that I use in my notes helps me to identify side notes, ideas, definitions, examples, facts, timelines, and information that stands out to me. I have the attention span of a gnat, so I needed a technique that made me work, read, and held my attention. This technique helps me to look for information (although it is a slow process) and piece together concepts that I find difficult to understand. When I read my notes aloud, it helps me to listen to what I'm reading as well as find grammatical errors, but this also helps me to retain information that much easier in order to be prepared for an upcoming exam. I have severe test anxiety, so I do as much as I can to focus on the information that needs to be known in order to take the exam. The day before the exam, I go back into my colorful notes and highlight the information that I need to pinpoint my focus on according to my coaching report from my practice exam. At least six hours before it is time to take my exam, I silently read over my notes and quiz myself over the information that was just read. Thirty minutes to an hour before taking the exam, I breath and try to relax. If I tense up because of my anxiety, I will automatically forget what I've studied. Twice, I have tried to bypass this painstakingly tedious process and failed to pass my exams. I know this process works for me because it has helped me pass my exams (most of the time).
Rayne from Texas
Western Governors University