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

During my senior year of high school in AP Psychology I learned the true secret ingredient to successful studying—elaborative rehearsal. While those two words sound like a fancy technical psychology term, it just translates to personally relating the material to yourself or in a way that is meaningful to you. It relies on associating information already in long-term memory with the new concepts trying to be memorized.
For example, while studying for an upcoming statistics exam I had to know the difference between the addition and multiplication rule. I am not trying to turn this essay into a math lecture, but the addition rule deals with mutually exclusive events (A or B occurring) while the multiplication rule is for when two events overlap (A and B occurring). Knowing how these two formulas vary meant the difference between correct and incorrect answers, the fate of my grade was on the line. But in the past, I had only ever employed elaborative rehearsal in trying to learn vocabulary that could easily be conceptualized. However, where there was a will, there was a way. I managed to create the following association that I still remember to this day. I taught myself that whenever I saw “addition rule” I would immediately think of two seals named ‘A’ and ‘B’. And what sounds do seals make? That is right a high-pitched, “ORRRTT, ORRTT, OORRTT,” two letters of which spell “or” (a.k.a. mutually exclusive events). That way whenever I saw addition rule, I knew it would be used for mutually exclusive events not events that overlap. It seems silly, but it actually worked because I received full credit for all the questions concerning these two rules on my math test!
So whether you are studying U.S. history, marketing, Spanish, or even statistics, I strongly encourage attempting to use a deeper, more meaningful approach to your studies. Elaborative rehearsal has made an unbelievable improvement in my memorization of key topics and I know it can do the same for you too.

Jordan from Colorado
College Sophomore
University of Colorado at Boulder