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

Studying has always been a struggle for me. I always start refreshed, engaged, ready to go! But, a little time in and I'm getting sleepy, sidetracked, and finding it hard to concentrate. When I decided to finally finish my AA at the age of 43, I knew I had to find a way to study that would keep my mind on task.

The first thing I realized, is that because I am more of an artistic/music minded person, I had to incorporate music into my studies. Thanks to the era of music apps and smart phones, I have what seems to be an endless repertoire of pre-made playlists for any occation, including those for concentration, at my fingertips. No more hours of making cassette tapes after picking out the right songs and purchasing full albums at the music store. Oh my, how times have changed!

Secondly, and I think just as importantly, I have found that doing my assignments while I am reading the required text is the key to keeping my brain awake and fully engaged. I need to stay hands-on or my mind turns off and I want to snuggle up and check the back of my eyelids for homework answers. I open up my assignments and toggle back and forth between the reading and the answering. I pre-read the questions I need to answer and when I get to that part of my text book it triggers my brain and I am able to complete the question. When it comes time to take the test, I am able to tap into my memory bank and earn that 'A'.

So, aside from a good cup of hot tea, plenty of water, and brain happy snacks, music and hands-on learning are the two tools I now utilize in my daily studies for test preparation. I am able to retain the information I am learning and have found myself to successful.

Kristine from Washington
College Sophomore
University of Phoenix