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

Over my many years within the schooling system, I have found what I believe personally to be the best study practices after much trial and error. I have tried online tools like Quizlet, studying other peoples' practice sets, and even reading through textbooks, but ultimately what proved to be the most helpful was is the combination of rewriting my notes in different colors and then quizzing myself via handwritten flashcards. There is something about handwriting notes, rather than typing them, that seems to enhance muscle memory. In addition to this, color-coding notes when studying for a test has allowed me to easily recall specific sections that stand out in my mind. For example, if I were studying general Chemistry and I write one section concerning the concept of Entropy in red, and then the other section concerning the concept of Enthalpy in pink, I find that I am able to differentiate the two when it comes time to take the test. I assume this is because the color associations serve as a dynamic way to organize notes that aid in the processing of the brain when one studies. Once these notes have been color-coded and written by hand at least two times, self-quizzing by way of flashcards is the final step. I say "self" quizzing because I have come to realize that being quizzed by others gives way to second-guessing. Some may not agree with this idea, however, I can attest to my own experience that listening to myself repeating my notes is more consistent than hearing it even in another person's voice. Not to mention that when I do forget something I'm being quizzed on, I feel almost apologetic for not knowing it better. Therefore, I have decided that the best way to practice is by viewing my own notes and hearing them in my voice and thoughts so that they remain consistent. Furthermore, in my opinion, flashcards eliminate the distraction of other notes, increasing concentration.

Alyssa from Arizona
College Freshman
University of Arizona