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

Just like many others, I used to just sit in my bed wrapped up in a blanket repeating definitions and terms to myself. After a full year of college, I realized that studying like that won't do me any good. I dove into the psychology of studying and memory. Our brains have a type of memory called situational memory. This memory uses triggers such as the lighting of the room or the feel of the chair you sit in to bring back memories. That's why you might be somewhere and when you smell something you get a rush of nostalgia from a memory of your past.

Using this concept I began to study in the classrooms where I would take the test or one very similar. It wasn't as comfy as a warm blanket and tea, however, it changed my test scores for the better. Changing my study environment helped but I also realized just repeating definitions and terms takes much more time to encode it into even just short-term memory. So I started to connect the material I was learning into my life. An example would be if I learned about the cross-bedding of petrified sand dunes, I would connect it to when I hiked a trail called angels landing and the whole cliff face that was next to it was covered with geologic structures like cross-bedding. So I gave up the comfort and had to set apart more time to think about what I studied and every minute was worth it. It worked and my test scores showed it.

Keegan from Utah
College Sophomore
Dixie State University