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

Studying before I go to bed is the best way for me to learn information for a test. I usually start studying about two or three weeks in advance, or as soon as I know there will be a test. This is the best way to make use of the spaced practice technique, since everyone knows that cramming has very little, if any, value for remembering information. When I study, I always use flashcards, since they are the best method for memorization of vocabulary. I study these flashcards for about twenty minutes every night, so as not to flood my brain with too much information, and to prevent the serial position effect from hindering the amount of words I actually remember. There are a couple of reasons I study before bed. The first reason is because it helps me fall asleep quicker, but that's really just an added perk. The real benefit to doing this closer to bed is because I'll have the words fresh in my memory when I go to bed, so my hippocampus encodes as much information as possible during REM sleep. One big external factor affecting this method is the amount of sleep I get; I usually try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night so I have enough time of REM sleep to encode all of the information that I need. Doing this process and repeating every night for multiple weeks ensures that I have the best chance of remembering the most information, and always prepares me for my tests, and I usually get no lower than high B on most tests.

Brandon from Florida
High School Senior
Melbourne High School