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

Cicero. Do you know who he is? You should, because he inadvertently discovered one of the best ways to prepare for a test! For those of you aren't in the know, Cicero was an ancient Roman senator who is widely considered one of the best public speakers in history. So what does he have to do with studying for a test? To answer this question, simply read some of his writings!

Cicero believed that the best way to convince an audience and to help them remember key information was to employ a special tactic he developed early in his career. This tactic was so effective, that it is still employed thousands of years after Cicero first conceived of it! To this day, it remains one of the simplest, most ubiquitous, and easy-to-use strategies every deployed when there is a need to convince someone or to aid in memorizing important info.

What is this far-famed tactic developed by the mastermind Cicero? It might surprise you! The tactic is this: repetition. Over and over again. Endlessly repeating, until the point the speaker has made is thoroughly absorbed by an audience so completely, that there is little chance for clumsy memory to wash its palate clean of the information the speaker has laid upon it.

I love this strategy not only because it is effective, but because it allows me to indulge my interest in Ancient Roman culture. In a small way, when I use Cicero's ideal of repetition in my school work, I feel like one of the Romans of old, the Romans to whom the art of speaking often involved life-and-death stakes, with the future of an Empire hanging precariously on the line.

Items like flashcards and reading class-assigned written material many times over are some ways that repetition can be used by a student when studying for a test. Anyone can do it! If I were to give a single piece of advice about how to best use repetition when studying, I would suggest starting early. Repetition works best over long periods of time. So start early!

Joseph from Arizona
College Sophomore
University of Arizona