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

Test success is due primarily to the test takers ability to memorize and recall information. But what exactly is memory? From a biological standpoint, memory is a grouping of neurons. This being the case, the more often material is reviewed, the more neurons fire and these neurons are recruited by the brain into the neuron chain, or as I call it, "The Memory Chain". My best test results come when I consistently review the testable information. After classes, I recall the lecture and notes I have taken as deeply as I can, using both auditory and visual recall to enlarge my memory chain. I do this again at night before bed because it is during our sleep that our brain prunes neuron connections, removing neuron connections which it deems unnecessary. By thoughtfully recalling my class and my notes, I am telling my brain the material is important and more neurons should be connected to the "memory chain" so as to create a stronger memory.
Another characteristic of the neurons is that they are triggered to be more active by new experiences. Using this information, I recall memories associated with the material from class and my notes in novel locations and always choose a different seat in the library when studying before a test. This characteristic is also the reason why I love study groups. New members to the group and new experiences with old members, help fire more neurons and lengthen the memory chain of the material I am reviewing.
One last strategy I use is called anchoring. When I am having difficulty recalling certain material, I review it while touching a specific body part. Then during the test, when I find a question related to the challenging material, I touch the same body part and the same neurons that fired while studying are fired again and the information is recalled.
Overall, by learning about how memories are formed I was able to create scientifically backed test preparation practices; these strategies have greatly increased my recall and results.

Patrick from Connecticut
College Junior
University of Arizona