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

Test prepping is not about having an exact, precise process to stick to with for every test. Test prep must be tailored to the subject, and what works for me may not work for the classmate sitting next to me in lecture. Take physiology, for example. What I’ve found to work best for me, after much trial and error, is to find a partner and talk it over. Others stick to flashcards, or rewriting notes, or staring at lecture slides online for hours. I merely focus on finding that deeper understanding. I go through lectures and talk it over with my study buddy. We discuss what it is, what it does and why it does it, why it’s important, and most significantly, we connect it to absolutely anything we can connect it to. Finding these connections is so vital because it helps you tie the subject to things you already know, so it feels like you’re learning something you’re already familiar with. I'll admit, rolling it over with a friend doesn’t always get the job done. Sometimes, it’s too complex to remember all that information and to be able to connect it all. That is when I turn to online videos. I may watch one, or it may take several to understand, but it is understanding that is key to doing well on exams and retaining this information once exam day has long passed. Not every school subject is like this however, and therefore, not every subject requires this type of studying. Math is nothing like physiology, so it's study methods are completely different. Your teachers are right when they say all it takes is practice, practice, practice. Do 10 questions each day leading up to an exam, and you're set. Of course, there are topics like foreign language and anatomy that simply require a lot of memorization. These subjects have their tricks, like rewriting lists, self-quizzing, and creating mnemonics. But all subjects are easier to retain when you contextualize. The most important part of test prepping is putting it in context, learning what works for you, and sticking to it.

Isadora from Arizona
College Sophomore
University of Arizona