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

When preparing for tests, I always try to avoid cramming; something that might see a passing score, but no lasting retention. I prefer to retain what I learn, and I have found that best attained by pairing my subjects of study with what I have found most lasting and enduring in my own life: God. I pair these together through what I know as the mnemonic tool of a "memory palace."

Religion is a significant part of my life, and I find it easy to connect my study material to the scriptures. These connections, either by wordage, phrasing, people, or stories, become "cemented" in my mind. This works especially well with history, government, and law, all of which I am very interested in. As I remember scriptural history and refrain from placing limits there, I include the world as a whole as it was at the time. Ancient world history ceases to be a collection of one-sided records from biased nations of self-aggrandizing nature, and it is if the spreading roots of a tree have finally been connected to their trunk, giving inclusion to all, with a complete flourishing comprehension.

Yet uniting secular and scriptural history tends to be only for generalities, and minor details are much harder to remember for tests that pry more for precise functions and delicate facts, so this is where the "mind palace" plays its role in my studies. The human mind is astoundingly accurate at remembering detailed locations. I use this to my advantage while studying by attaching my material to memories I have of places. If I were tested and had to remember the Allied powers of WWII, in my mind I might hang flags throughout my house, or place cultural objects throughout a familiar place. As I tour this location, usually in a specific order while testing, I recognize immediately the French Bulldog running in my yard I had placed and rehearsed previously, though I've never seen one in my life, and remember the French resistance on D-Day. This strategy I recommend and know of it's proven success!

Noah from Utah
College Freshman
Brigham Young University