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

I am a firm believer that one needs to be prepared to succeed in life. The same philosophy must be taken for tests. There are a certain lucky few that are able to wing it on tests and do well, but that is not I. I must take my time in preparing for tests, usually using different practices to help me study. Different things work for different people, it took me years to find what actually worked for me. When I was in elementary school I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to take tests without doing homework and still do well on them. This was great for me at the time, but as I grew older and material got more difficult, I realized that I had never actually learned how to study. This made for some difficult times in middle school, especially in my math classes. As I struggled and struggled, I started trying different thing to help me; what I really learned at the time is was what doesn't help me. At first I tried studying while listening to music, quickly realizing that I was being distracted by the words. I also tried using flashcards, but realized If I don't shuffle the card I'll just remember the order I have them in, which wouldn't help me. It wasn't until high school and college that I really learned what works for me. Something I learned is that music does help me study, but the music cannot have lyrics in it. Sticking to primarily instrumental music, I am able to focus more on the work at hand while also having something to invigorate my brain even more. I get into a flow or a rhythm that helps propel me through hours of studying. College also taught me that it is good to take breaks sometimes. The brain can only handle so much at a time, sometimes it's good to let it rest and do something else. What I do to take breaks from studying is walk. Short walks, long walks, it doesn't matter; just getting up from a desk for a few minutes every hour or two can really help. There's plenty of ways to learn, and these are a few that worked for me, and some that didn't.

Alex from Michigan
College Junior
Central Michigan University