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

Everyone’s ability to grasp information are distinctly different, therefore my methods of learning may not work with everyone. The way I find most effective in learning is by visualization and being engaging. I don’t personally study everyday nor spend countless hours cramming information that may not be prevalent on the test. I focus on the class at hand and take the most vital information and apply its principles to a problem.
My math class, for example, I would take notes of the equations and the steps to get the answer. I would then look at the steps and apply it to the problems and check if I did it correctly. While working out the problems, I chew gum. The subtle act of chewing gum allows a habit of linking itself with the content that I’m learning. During the test I would chew a piece of gum which will bring muscle memory and over the duration of the test allow me to memorize key information.
I would consider the test as a simple review, not a test! People tend to exaggerate the idea of the word “test” and associate it with stress which in turn will not allow them to do well. If you can psychologically trick your mind into reducing the amount of stress before a test, it will be easy to take.
I exploit the idea of retaining key information before the actual exam. When the exam begins, I immediately write the information on the test, simple but effective. I implore people to double check your work. It is most likely that an answer to one question will be within another question. One of my teachers also gave me advice to, “always go with your first guess.”
Everyone uses these complicated rituals of studying before a test when, not everyone has the time to do so. Doing simple habits can contribute to your ability to learn and succeed. On my final exam, worth 5-10% of my grade, I got a 93.3% missing only 2 out of 30 questions. A once wise philosopher said, “absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” Thank you.

Darvell from Arizona
College Freshman
The University of Arizona