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

My first year as a college student was incredibly difficult. Throughout high school I was able to get passing grades without much time or effort spent studying. However, in college I learned very quickly that in order to get the grades I wanted for graduate school I had to become a diligent studier. Thus began my two-year journey towards finding study methods that work for me. During this time I spontaneously chose a study method before each exam, hoping that it would magically give me a passing grade. While even the attempt at studying helped my exam grades due to the extra time I was spending with the material I was wasting hours every day by studying ineffectively.
When I began my nursing classes two years into college, it became obvious I could not afford those wasted hours any longer. There was simply too much material to learn in a terrifyingly short period of time. To rectify this situation, I dedicated a weekend to researching study methods that work with my learning style and committed myself to use these methods exclusively. Two years later, and 7 months from graduating with a Bachelor’s of Nursing Science degree, I can say without a doubt that these study methods have changed my life.
The most important test preparation practice I use is flashcards. Every day after a lecture I take the notes I took, the PowerPoints/materials provided by the professor, as well as my textbook and combine all the information together. Once all the information from my various sources is consolidated, I am able to take each concept and put it on an index card. This allows my study time to be much more mobile. I am an active learner, so moving and talking really increases information retention. With flashcards, I am able to study on the go. One of my favorite ways to prepare for an exam during the summer months is to find a beautiful hike with a friend, take a lunch, and review my flashcards while we eat and enjoy the view.

Catherine from Alaska
College Junior
University of Alaska Anchorage