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

Quick! What’s your phone number? Most likely, you have no problem repeating this random sequence of numbers. Now, what if I asked you what your credit card number is? Unless you are an avid online shopper, I think you might have a slightly harder time repeating it to me. But why?

This phenomenon is easily explained by one word, “retention” and it is a crucial part of learning. I believe that retention and ultimately learning is defined by relevance and repetition. And by creating a philosophy based on this theory, I was able to create the most efficient test preparation practices.

My process for test preparation begins by determining the relevance of the material. This process changes based on the basis of the assessment. In regards to classroom assessments, this is typically achieved by making connections from the material to real-world applications. In regards to standardized testing, this is a matter of understanding the format of the exam and choosing the information that is most pertinent to study.

Once I have determined the relevance, it is time for repetition. Personally, I find that it is important to stimulate as many senses as possible, this allows me to absorb the material in multiple facets while ensuring that I don’t get bored while studying. I begin by analyzing the content out loud, this allows me to get an understanding of the content as a whole and retain the information auditorily. Then, I rewrite my notes in my own words, as scientific research shows that writing notes aids in retention. Upon completing the notes, I quiz myself as the notes are easier to understand and more concise. This allows me to fit more repetitions within my small amount of study time. These techniques have proven fruitful for me as I make small changes to the process based on the specifics of the assessment.

So although test preparation varies based on the assessment and content, I can ensure accurate retention by focusing on relevance and repetition.

Anna from Georgia
College Junior
University of Georgia