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

I once walked into my dorm to find my roommate, Zoe, engaging in an intense conversation. Nothing out of the ordinary, until I realized that no one else was in the room. As the door creaked open, she turned around, smiled at me, and said, “Oh hello! Welcome to my classroom.” “Classroom?” I thought, “There’s no one here!” But Zoe quickly explained that she wasn’t having a mental breakdown. This was just how she studied.
Though I doubted at first, I am now convinced that teaching is the best way to master information. This is because when you are required to teach, you have to understand the "why" behind the “what.” We know that 2 x 2 equals four, but why? When you become the teacher, it is no longer acceptable to just memorize the facts, because teaching involves answering questions. Therefore, you must acquire an in-depth understanding of the subject at hand.
However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to relaying knowledge. Students learn in different ways, and so you must adapt your teaching style to fit the “student” – that is, yourself. At times, this has led me to make flashcards, write a study guide, or even compose a song; whatever most effectively maintains my engagement and reinforces what I need to learn is the approach that I use.
There is one thing, however, that is essential when studying through teaching. You must talk. I once thought it was a waste of time and breath to speak while studying. But I’ve found that it’s much easier for me to remember my own voice rather than my teacher’s, and speaking out loud quickly shows what I don't understand. Several times, after babbling off a textbook explanation, I’ve stopped and verbally said, “What did that even mean?” I might have been able to convince myself that I understood if the information was only “heard” in my mind. But ears are incredibly accurate gauges of true understanding.
It seemed strange at first, pretending to be a teacher, but Zoe was right: “Teachers pass tests."

Vanessa from Texas
College Sophomore
Belmont University