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

There are many different routes one can take while preparing for a test, from reading the material to making a study guide. All are great methods but they may not be the best for memorizing information. The test preparation practices that I implement are from a psychological standpoint which allows my brain to go through the stages of memory (1. Encoding, 2.Storage, 3. Retrieval) to its fullest capacity.
Anyone can read off information but if it´s not encoded it into your memory it´s difficult to retrieve. Encoding information can be done through visuals and acoustics. What I do is close my eyes and come up with a picture or draw it out to best illustrate the information. To fulfill the acoustics aspect, I say the information out loud and repeat it several times. For example, in order to memorize important neurotransmitters for biology, I used visuals and acoustics by saying ¨dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends signals from the brain to the body in order for one to have fine motor skills”. While saying this, I visualize myself picking up a water bottle and drinking it because a message from the brain to the body said I was thirsty.
The second stage of memory is storage which can hold more information by chunking. Chunking can be done with acronyms which put all the information you need into one word, making it easier to remember. A classic example of this would be PEMDAS which is the order of operations: parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Without PEMDAS I may not be able to remember the order since there are many factors.
The last stage is retrieval which is the most crucial. If you can´t access the information encoded it is because it was not encoded to the point where it became meaningful. This is why the test preparation practices I use are through visuals, acoustics, and chunking which transform countless words, which may seem to be overwhelming, into something meaningful which I am able to understand and apply.

Elizabeth from Texas
High School Senior
Boswell High School