Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
Identifying my specific learning style early in my college preparatory career laid a successful framework for retaining information when preparing for testing on any given subject. With the help of some on-line testing, I determined that I am primarily a visual, followed closely by tactile, learner. I scored very low as an auditory learner. This rang true as I attempted different techniques to study for upcoming tests.
Being a visual learner means I retain information best by reading, visualizing, and writing down things that I hear. Excelling at visual reasoning, the reading part came easily. Visualizing the text that I have read; actually picturing the book and a given page in my mind, has helped me recall information on more than one occasion. If an instructor is lecturing, writing down key words, ideas, graphs and tables allows me to retain the information more easily than if I just listened. These experiences laid a pretty clear path for test preparation: read the text, take good notes during a lecture, and visualize the information.
While the visual learner techniques helped my final scores, I wondered if I could improve even more if I added some tactile learner techniques. Touching, moving and building are the hallmarks of a tactile learner. In 4-H, one of our mottos is “We Learn by Doing” and this seemed to reinforce the original on-line learning style test results. I recalled a piece of pottery I decorated and had fired. It was not the most attractive piece, but my mom entered it in the county fair ignoring my objections. Did she know something I didn’t? During face-to-face judging I explained all the different pottery techniques I learned while creating that awful piece. I received a blue ribbon with the judge explaining that not only did I practice and learn many new techniques, I was able to objectively evaluate the final product and retain the entire experience. More proof that hands-on learning was effective for me. This was further reinforced while participating in Students Working As Teachers (SWAT). Play acting and skits helped me remember my lines for each presentation with little to no effort. I had successfully identified and added more test preparation practices!
Using standardized IQ testing to identify my strengths, playing upon my love of reading, and applying and evaluating some techniques suggested by an on-line evaluation, I have succeeded in reducing my test preparation time and find that I can retain more information more easily. I believe that self-reflection was key in identifying skills that would help me truly learn and prove I understand the materials presented to me.
Kathlee from Wisconsin
High School Senior
Fond du Lac High School