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

Over the years I have learned what test preparation practices have personally benefited me academically. For one, I give myself adequate study time on a weekly basis. I prefer to study gradually over a long period of time instead of cramming material at the very end. This method allows me to maximize retention and gain a fuller understanding of the subject at hand. I pick a quiet setting such as a library, home office, or an isolated spot in the park to minimize distractions. I set an alarm on my phone to span 30-60 minutes and turn the device on silent. I allow myself to take small breaks over this period of time as well. Sometimes, if my material is mobile (flashcards, diagrams, and useful applications on devices) I will use free time while waiting in waiting rooms, during breaks from class or work, or even while riding a stationary bike at the gym to study. Depending on the subject, I like to utilize a variety of study methods and materials. For example, in Anatomy and Physiology I liked using a coloring book displaying diagrams of the body regions, flashcards, visual textbooks, apps with practice questions, YouTube videos with instruction, and even referencing my own body or skeletal models for hands-on practice. If I take notes in class, I rewrite them later to help with review. If I run through flashcards or practical skills, I speak aloud the material or steps to actively engage my understanding of the topic. I like to start with one region or topic and continue to review it as I learn new material. For example, taking the muscular system and breaking it down into smaller groups can be helpful. Once I have an optimal understanding of the material, I may work with a partner or group to gain practice and outside perspective on anything I could have missed. I have learned not to get too wrapped up in the details and focus on reaching smaller goals before accomplishing bigger goals. This makes the study process easier to withstand, especially for big tests.

Hannah from Michigan
College Freshman
Macomb Community College