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

Studying for tests has never been my strong suit until I started to better strategize my studying methods. Throughout high school I thought I could get away with only studying a little bit, which I did. But this was not the case in college, it is a lot more difficult than that. I realized this the hard way when I did not get the grade, I expected on my first test. Yes, this could have been prevented if I would have studied better. From that day forward, I made a great effort to find multiple study mechanisms in order to get a good grade.
My only study mechanism used to be to only study one day before the test. I figured if the information was fresh in my mind then I would do decent. At least this is how I did in high school, but the information was much easier. I got mostly A’s on tests hence, I figured that studying strategy worked well. College tests are much more complicated, therefore, I realized I had to study in advance in order to get a good grade that I deserved. As school went on I took many steps to fulfill the studying strategy that worked best for me. The first step I took, was to start studying the day I got the material that was going to be on the test. Usually for each test about seven lectures are based on what will be on the exam. After every lecture that was given, I would go home and study it for about one to two hours. By doing this after every lecture, I was able to memorize the main key points by the time the test came along. At the end of all lectures, when the study guides were provided, I would study the whole material at once. I figured out from a psychology class that the brain will not necessarily work for long periods of time. Therefore, I would split up my studying into thirty minutes then go work on something else. When reviewing the information, I remembered, I found out that more information was retained when I would give my brain these breaks.
I also figured out that if I memorize key words to connect to the main points of the exam, I would do good. This helped me to look for terms in certain questions to utilize context clues to help me figure out the answers. During lectures, I would come up with these terms in order to match it to the point that it is directed to. A unique strategy that helped me involved music and studying. When figuring out these key terms, it made me think of certain lyrics that I could memorize. Then during the test, I would be able to think of these lyrics, which led me to think of the key term. Then finally, I was able to do better on my tests.

Alexis from Arizona
College Freshman
University of Arizona