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

Most tests are cumulative, meaning they cover information that you have learned from the beginning of the school term. Because of this, I have tried many things to help me memorize various concepts ant terms but it usually ends with me not retaining any information at all. A method I have recently started using is mapping!

Mapping is a broad term that simply means creating a visual representation of concepts and how they relate to one another. You can do this by using concept maps, Venn Diagrams, charts, or any other diagram! By doing this, you are able to remember concepts because you are rewriting the information down in a different manner and using visual cues to recall them. Even more so, relating topics to one another makes comprehension and application of those concepts easier!

Mapping is great to do alone but I often use this technique with a group of friends. Each of us would map each concept or unit individually and them teach it to each other. When in a classroom setting, we students are the learners. However, the best way to know if you understand a topic is if you can teach it correctly and easily! That's why I always recommend teaching friends and study partners topics that will be on a test and see if you understand the material without any cheat sheets.

The last practice I have would be to simply practice! Test questions are all over the internet free or with purchase. Finding quality application questions id a bit harder but it is important to test yourself to see if you really retain and understand the material that is being given. Do not just use one test and keep taking it until you get a 100%. Try multiple different practice exams and even reach out to your teacher/professor for possible practice problems. This technique is great on all subjects like mathematics, history, and sciences!

All of these methods have helped me improve my grade and understanding of materials long-term and short-term!

Erika from Pennsylvania
College Freshman
University of Pittsburgh