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

Certain practices may only work for a season. I believe Winston Churchill said it best with, “to change is to improve, to be perfect is to change often.” In high school, I didn’t have to study. I succeeded in reading the textbook and taking notes. Upon entering college, I knew much would be expected of me, but I was in the mindset, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I soon came to the realization that my old preparation practices were in fact broke and so was I, money wise. Changes needed to be made.
In high school, I got away with sitting in a noisy environment and listening to music while doing my homework or writing an essay, but not in college. I now believe complete silence is best. Complete silence is beneficial to me because I am easily distracted, which also explains why I cannot have my phone near me while studying. I also prefer to sit at a desk or on the floor for better concentration rather than on a bed. From personal experience, if you keep telling yourself that you are only going to close your eyes for 15 minutes, that is a lie. I believe the environment is the first step in getting the most out of test preparation.
The test preparation practices that work best for me are flashcards and teaching. Now before you roll your eyes at flashcards, let me explain this multi-subject technique. I write the term on one side and on the other I write the definition in my own words and include either an example or a picture. After I finish writing and reviewing my flashcards, I ask a friend if I can teach them what I have learned. Studies show that teaching others reinforces what you know but for best results, you should study every night in preparation.
To reiterate what Churchill said about change, it takes time to discover which learning style(s) and preparation practices work best for you. It took a lot of changes for me to discover what environment I thrive in and the best way to retain knowledge but test results support that my practices are next to perfect.

Lauren from Georgia
College Freshman
Mercer University