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

There are people one knows in high school and college who never have to study. These people look like superheroes, they just get each subject of every class that they take. I am not one of those people. Many people think that I am somebody who never has to study, instead I just know the study practices that make it look that way. My test preparation includes 2 separate categories; memorization and application. These categories can dominate some subjects or be a mix in others. For example, subjects such as anatomy are mostly memorization, while math is often application. A mixture of both can be seen in biology or chemistry as one must understand the workings of the equations to apply to the problems found on a test. In times where memorization is needed I read what needs to be memorized ten times, write it five, and say it out loud three. This method is not uncommon in test preparation but it works the best because of the science behind it. I find that the method works best for me because memory is reliant on routine. Simply reading the definition or equation isn't enough to rewire the brain to memorize something. Writing utilizes muscle memory that, when paired with the out loud reading, is an amazing way to memorize information. During test preparation that includes application, I find that practice problems from the internet or Youtube videos is helpful. Practice problems work because they allow one to see if they are getting the material and if they aren't, see where they are going wrong. Additionally, it is beneficial to have someone walk through the process rather than needing to teach themselves. Videos allow for students to go at their own pace and not have to worry about being embarrassed to ask a question in front of all their friends during a standard lecture. Differentiating whether a test is asking for memorization, application, or both is incredibly helpful in determining how to study.

Emily from Minnesota
College Freshman
Drake University