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

The following are strategies that I employ every time I have a test coming up. First, I take great detailed notes from the textbook or a professor's lecture. I believe that writing on paper is much more beneficial than writing on a tablet or laptop. Because I am a visual learner, I begin to color code my notes (highlighting definitions, creating word maps, and grouping similar categories). I greatly believe in studying in chunks. I do not promote procrastination and cramming before a test. I will study in small intervals (such as 15-30 minutes) and then give myself a break for 5 minutes. I then repeat this process until I believe I have retained the information. Additionally, before going to sleep, I will glance over my notes. Studies have showed that reading notes improves long-term potentiation of the neurons that are related to that specific memory. This is not the time to actively interact with your notes; but rather, to get the bigger picture. Lastly, a trick that my dad taught me is to constantly quiz myself on things I am uncertain about. For example, when I brush my teeth, I will run through my notes, recite formulas, whatever needs to be done. If I get stuck on something, I quickly run to my notes and get a picture in my brain. If I do this enough times, I know I will remember things not only for my test but also for the future.

Radhika from Ohio
College Freshman
Purdue University