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

When studying, I like to connect the concepts taught in school to something more physical and tangible using pictures and hand gestures. Concepts without diagrams make less sense to me, so I lean heavily on those diagrams to understand the concept as a whole. I point and make gestures to memorize the relationships between each part of the diagram. I often do these things out loud to myself. Explaining these concepts out loud allows me to figure out how to articulate my ideas more concisely on a test, while simultaneously testing myself on how well I know the material. If I cannot explain the material, I do not know it well enough.

I have a more visual way of studying in general, but how I study also depends on the material the test is on. For example, I would study differently for a physics test than I would for a foreign language test. Since physics is more concept based, I would explain the concepts using diagrams from the textbook, but foreign language is very different from that. I write the word out, then mime the action or draw the noun repeatedly. With both subjects, however, I do use some of the same techniques, like visualization, repetition, and verbalization.

For me, these techniques are especially effective because I am a visual learner. Pictures give concepts context, allowing me to understand how each part of the concept fits within the whole diagram. Repetition allows me to solidify the concepts in relation to those pictures. Lastly, I explain the concepts to myself to better articulate them on a test.

Rhea from Arizona
High School Senior
Scottsdale Preparatory Academy