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

Growing up I always struggled with taking tests. As I got older and the exams got more challenging I quickly developed a method that worked for me. Before I knew it I would be sharing my methods with my classmates and they too found improvement in their exam scores. Traditionally, I was taught to study ALL of the material in any given course. Then when it came to test day I would be so overwhelmed with material I did not have time to process the material to UNDERSTAND it. After a miserable failed exam I had to go back to the drawing board on my study methods.

First, I knew memorizing the material did NOT work for me. The questions I was being tested on were examining my overall understanding of a theory or thought rather than the word for word definition. I began to be artistic in my studying by drawing concepts and ideas highlighted in my courses. I understood then that I'm an incredibly visual learner and stimulation was going to be a key factor in having my brain understand the bigger picture in my classes.

Second, I would dedicate at LEAST an hour per day reviewing and drawing out material. It really didn't matter if I was dreading studying or if it was a weekend and I had a whole schedule full of fun, friends, and family. I made sure I dedicated sometime to review material for the classes I was in at the time.

Third, I noticed when I reviewed material right before bed that when I woke up and attempted to recall information from the night before that I stick. So I began to focus my time studying first thing in the morning and the last thing I read before going to bed. Again, even if that was just dedicating one hour in the morning or a full three to four hours at night I made sure that every time I woke up I would try to recall the material at hand and if I had issues recalling it I would go back and review the same material again. After discovering these studying hacks for my brain I noticed studying became a lot more fun and less dreadful.

EMILY from California
College Junior