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

Throughout the 20 years that I have been attending school, I have learned many different methods to study for an exam. While the different test preparation practices all have their different strengths, I find the use of flashcards the most successful in helping me attain the desired outcome for a particularly difficult test. Flashcards are great because they contain all the pertinent information one needs to know for the exam but can be organized in any variety of ways including randomly.

By utilizing flashcards randomly information in your memory is not pulled out in any set pattern, which makes it easier to use that same information during an exam. Exams are designed to challenge one's knowledge of the content so it is usually not presented with a flow of information where one question leads to the answer of the next question. By using flashcards to train the mind to pull information out at random without working up to it, time can be saved to answer each question on an exam. With that saved time, one can be assured that he or she will get to all the questions before having to turn the exam in.

For example, I have allows found chemistry to be a difficult topic for me personally. Remembering all the elements on the periodic table in addition to the rest of the information like how elements bond has always been a daunting task for me to complete. By using flashcards I was able to build a memory for each independent component of chemistry that could be recalled when needed. I spent several nights looking at elemental symbols and recalling their names, then doing the opposite: looking at elemental names and recalling their symbol.

Without the strength of knowing all the elements by using the flashcards to study I do not believe that I would be at the academic standing I am at now. Flashcards have helped me greatly in the last 20 years and they have the potential to help many more people. Flashcards break up the information into smaller chunks for learning.

Michael from Colorado
College Junior
Western Governors University