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

In my first month transitioning from high school to university, I, like most others, found that I struggled on exams. My previous method of participating in class and studying prior to the exam were no longer enough. However, I am convinced my new approach is the most ideal and can be constructed to fit anyone.
I created my method of studying for exams as a result of a TED talk, in which the speaker mentioned that it takes twenty hours of focused study for the acquisition of new skills, his example being learning to play a new instrument. I decided to implement this strategy to my course exams, utilizing what I dubbed the “5 Day Strategy”. I prepare for an exam five days before, spending four hours each day covering all the material via flashcards, Quizlet and general reading. The best part is that these four hours don’t have to be continuous and I am able to consolidate my learning with adequate sleep. Furthermore, my method has scientific principles behind it as I learned through my neuroscience courses. Neurons in the brain form new synapses more readily when they are repeatedly stimulated and animal learning paradigms show that from days 3 to 5 of learning a new task does the task become acquired.
My strategy also worked when I was preparing for a difficult standardized exam, the MCAT. Each week I focused on a different subsection for twenty hours a week, always making sure to alternate sections each week, for example biology week one then physics week two followed by chemistry week three. I did this for three months and I ended up scoring in the 95th percentile on the exam.

Abish from Pennsylvania
College Freshman
University of Pittsburgh