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

In the past, I have struggled finding a test preparation practice that suites my way of thinking. I have taken countless advice from individuals younger and older than me, but nothing seemed to help me perform better than I know I could. Lately, I have found that when I study chunks of materials at a time and test myself, I am able to retain the information better. For example, I look over the material for an upcoming exam and then test myself with the objectives given to see how much I actually learned. Additionally, I read through a section of my coursework and write down all of the main ideas that I encounter in that specific section. After writing down the main ideas, I further condense the material into simpler terms that are quickly reviewable. Not only am I reviewing the material, but rewriting the information in my own words allows me to perceive what I really understand. Another test preparation practice that I find extremely useful is drawing pictures and writing flow charts. Personally, I am a visual learner and I learn the material considerably well when I see the information rather than reading it over and over in long paragraphs. For instance, the course I just finished involved many cellular pathways and negative feedback loops. Instead of trying to memorize the pathways and paragraphs of explanations, I drew each receptor, second messenger and effector in the pathway and comprehended why one affected the other. I also drew the picture and flow charts only in color, so I was able to associate a certain color with a certain mechanism or pathway. By drawing the information with colored markers, I was able to visualize the pathway while taking the exam. As a whole, test preparation practices that I find useful in order to succeed on exams are simplifying information into my own words and drawing out large pathways and ideas.

Kayla from Arizona
College Junior
The University of Arizona