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

Tests strike fear into the hearts of many college students all over the country every day. Preparation is the key to overcoming this fear. However, only the best strategies will yield the results that you desire. The strategy that I believe is best, involves active reading, flash cards, and self-designed open-ended questions. Utilizing these three techniques will help to not only increase your test scores but also to increase your comprehension of the material.
The first step to understanding any topic is reading the material. However, simply reading is not enough. Active reading is a technique in which you make the material your own as you read. You begin by breaking the material up into manageable pieces, reading the material, and writing a short summary in the margins. This step helps to make sure that you are really paying attention to all the material. Finally, you must take the time to circle any terms or topics that you are still having difficulties with after reading.
Once you have the difficult terms circled, you are ready for the second step of this study strategy. You will take these terms and turn them into flash cards so that you can practice with them. Completing this step second ensures that you do not waste time working on terms that you are already comfortable with. This also means that you can use the maximum amount of your time working on the terms that you really need the help with.
When you have the more difficult terms down you are ready for the final, and most important step. You begin by taking the information that you already know and designing open ended questions about the material and then answering with great detail. This ensures that you are not only able to regurgitate definitions and phrases but that you are also able to synthesize and analyze the information that you learned in order to answer the question. Students that use this technique can expect to better understand the material and receive higher marks on their tests.

Erasmo from Arizona
College Sophomore
University of Arizona