Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
When it comes to studying, it really boils down to how you learn. For me, I learn best through practice and understanding. I also have really good short-term memory and bad long-term memory. Knowing these things determine the most effective and efficient methods to use while studying. Since I have really good short-term memory, I tend to study the day or a few days before the test so that the information stays in my mind. I begin by creating a study guide of all the important concepts from the chapters. Once I create the list of topics, I go through the textbook and class materials to fill in definitions and meanings of each item on the list. Once this is completed, I study the items until I feel confident in my understanding of the concepts. I then go into the text book and complete the practice problems provided. I mark the questions that I simply don't understand or get wrong. After this, I go back through my study guide and focus specifically on the topics that I did not know. I then go back to the questions and see if I can answer them and understand why the answer is what it is. I continue to repeat this process until I have a good understanding of all the topics on my list. After this, I will meet up with friends and teach them the topics as I understand them. I am a strong believer that if you cannot teach a concept to someone else, then you do not truly understand that concept. I mark the concepts that I had a hard time teaching and further review them. Once I can understand and can teach every concept, then I truly feel ready for the test. Here are a few other tips that I like to live. First, prioritize understanding above all else. If you understand the topics, then you can answer any variation of the questions you've practiced; even the ones meant to trick you. Additionally, know how you learn. If you have bad short-term memory, study ahead of time. Finally, make your studying environment calm and as close to the real testing environment as possible.
Tommy from Arizona
University of Arizona