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

The concept of studying has been in our lives as students since grade school, or the first time we were asked to take a test to prove what we learned. To this day, I still struggle to understand the best way to study, and much of that comes from the fact that we all learn things differently. However, the one thing I know for certain is that I need to be sure I have established my purpose in the subject, and to constantly work at actually learning the content rather than cramming before an exam to ensure a grade. My secret weapon? A study concept I learned: Mass.

“Mass” is the substance, the physical matter, the essence of what a topic/subject/thought/thing really is. Let's say we were studying giraffes in class.. What if a student didn’t know what a giraffe was? The teacher could show them a picture and tell them that they have a long neck, a purple slimy tongue, and that they live in Africa. The student could feel a little better about what a giraffe is after that. However, what if the student got to see a real giraffe right in front of them? What if the student got to see just how long their necks are and how purple and slimy their tongues are? Now, the student doesn't need to fly to Africa to do so, but maybe a trip to the zoo would help give the student a better understanding of what a giraffe really is.

As a soon to be Senior in college, I can attest to the fact that I am not learning about giraffes in my finance classes or taking field trips to the zoo to learn about new ventures. I am, however, learning about topics that are setting me up for my future, and the more mass I can get on each subject, the better. So, how do I prepare for tests? I find mass on the subject by doing. Rather than relying only upon a professor to tell me how to calculate a formula in excel, I have someone show me and guide me through the process. Actions speak louder than words, and mass gives real life experience to better learn the skills and concepts we all strive to understand.

Kendall from Colorado
College Junior
University of Arizona