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

Test preparation can be extremely difficult for many people and can often lead to frustration as they study. For me, I have used two methods throughout high school that have helped me to maintain high grades. My most traditional method involves a white board and a marker. The night before an exam, I would feel that I knew absolutely nothing. I would look at the definitions of words and hardly be able to remember any. So, I would go through the notes or videos with a marker in my hand and write down everything that I did not remember. By the end of this, I found myself recalling considerably more information. I would then look back at the white board and erase everything I now understood. The majority of the board would be left blank, as I only had a few more concepts that needed clarification.
Still, this method is not always foolproof. In cases where the red or blue ink of the marker is still left contrasting the whiteness of the board, I typically associate the information with other things. When studying chemistry sophomore year, I would often make plays on words to help me remember their significance. For example, I associated Boyle’s Law—which refers to the relationship between the volume and pressure of a gas—with “boys” and the “pressure” that they cause for girls. Though it may seem strange, the association is something that I remember till this day. I also tend to connect certain objects with ideas to form memory palaces. I may connect the map on the wall with a certain person and imagine them standing there while performing an action that they are associated with. If you are struggling to remember Carl Jung and his theories, maybe you picture him circling the world to demonstrate that we are all collective and relate this to his theory of the collective unconscious. Again, these things may seem strange, but I have found that the stranger concepts are often the ones that you remember the longest and sometimes learning requires something unconventional.

Caitlin from New Jersey
High School Senior
Mount Olive High School