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

Taking tests is a necessary, yet dreaded part of any educational ambition. The finals that we all face at the end of the year challenge our memories, our patience, and our nerves. For me, tests allow me to see my progress in a subject and continue to learn. My preparation practices are quite simple, they include daily study and periodic review. Daily study is key to my preparation. Many people will procrastinate their studies and try to fit a month's worth of studies into a few late nights. By studying daily, I learn more efficiently and I don't have to starve myself of sleep to prepare for my test. This also works for me because our brains are designed to learn information in smaller chunks. Retention is increased when smaller portions of information are processed at a time. And even though this eats away a little bit of time each day, it stops me from having a six-hour study block all in one day. In addition to my daily studies, I review materials periodically. Here again, studies show that when learned information is repeated in intervals, retention is increased. My reviews allow me to remember what I already know and solidify my understanding while at the same time helping me to see the holes in my knowledge. This too saves me time. Instead of having to go back and review everything, I review often. Another important part of my test preparation is taking practice tests. Sometimes this is difficult to do, but it is an incredible resource. This allows me to see exactly what I don't know or comprehend. It also helps me to get rid of the butterflies and uneasiness that always comes with taking a test. And who knows, maybe one of the questions I practice will be on the real test, which is a huge bonus. Between these three practices, daily study, periodic review, and taking practice tests, I am able to not only prepare for and feel confident on tests, but I am able to integrate and retain the knowledge and skills that I have acquired.

Caleb from Montana
College Freshman
Montana State University