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

I have two different methods of studying that I use in conjunction with each other. The first is for the purpose of knowing the information and the second is for helping me remember the information later as well as focus in the moment. The first method of studying I use is simply to read the information material to myself. I am an auditory learner, so I learn things best when they are said out loud. I love to read and to listen, so combining the two helps me to understand and keep the information fresh in my mind when preparing for a test. The second study method takes a little more explanation. I love listening to music, as I'm sure most people do. The difference with me is that I grew up learning piano from my mother who is a piano professor at Biola University. Learning piano taught me about different ideas and concepts regarding music. One thing that I have learned from playing piano is that, like most actions such as walking, the extensive repetition of an action will take less and less effort with each attempt. With piano, the hardest attempt at a song is always the first attempt. After that, each attempt gets easier until the point is reached where the song can be played from memory. This is because the mind associates the finger movements required for the song with the sounds made as a result of those finger movements. I transferred the knowledge of this association to studying. When I study, listening to classical or instrumental music helps me to focus, but it also helps me retain information. I tend to choose just one instrumental song per subject to play on repeat. That way, when I think about the song, I think about what I was studying. It gives me a mental grasping point to recall information. I do not know if this works for everyone, but with my musical training, it has helped me. Those are the two main methods I use for studying.

Taylor from California
High School Senior
Ontario Christian High School