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

As a first generation college student, I had no help from my family on studying techniques. In fact, for a long time I was absolutely awful at studying, and had a lot of test anxiety. Finding a studying "groove" that worked for me took nearly two years of exploration, practice, and failures. I really thought I wasn't ever going to be successful at studying or testing, until I decided to try making and using flashcards to help me.
Making a flashcard helps me understand the material better, because I have to write the keywords and definitions down with my own hand, which helps my brain process and retain the information better. Additionally, the definition or notes that I write down on the backside of a flashcard have to be simple enough to fit, which means I have to understand what they are and how to use the meaning in my own words.
On top of this, going through the flashcards over and over again helps lock that information in, and trains me to recall the definition as soon as I see the keyword. In the way that an actor waits to hear a specific line said for his "cue" to deliver his performance, my brain knows that the keyword is its cue to recite the notes or definitions that come along with it. It is also easy to mix up my flashcards, so I really can relate the keyword with the notes, rather than memorize a pattern.
When I have flashcards, it's usually pretty easy to hand them to a friend or family member and have them help me practice. Since the notes are right there on the card, I don't have to find a classmate or a tutor that already knows the material well, so finding a study buddy is much easier. Also, from doing this, I can also hear the note or definitions come from another person's mouth, which can help me retain the information better, or even provide a new insight to the notes or definitions that I am studying.

Bailey from Oregon
College Sophomore
Lane Community College