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

As a mother, I’m forever searching for the most sensible and downright fastest way to prepare for tests. My free time is sporadic or otherwise nonexistent, and these days, my attention span seems to be the same. For those like myself, it’s important to maximize every learning moment, and thusly, I’ve narrowed my prep-practices down to three steps:
1. First, success begins in the classroom. Taking detailed notes throughout the course guarantees easily accessible materials, as well as a base knowledge to build from. You’ve got to prepare to prepare and can’t be afraid to be that kid. Asks a thousand questions if you need to and never apologize, because you’ll only get out what you put into your education. (That said, it’s also okay to make friends with that kid. Suggest a study-buddy situation or ask if he/she will allow you to use their notes. There’s no shame in the learning game.)
2. Next, start sliding those over-the-top notes into the memory bank. Some people do this by rewriting them at home, but really…who has time for that? This busy mom likes to summarize her notes. This way, I’m no longer writing them verbatim but forcing myself to reflect on what I’ve read and put it in terms I can relate to. It’s the key to locking in a semester’s worth of knowledge, while covering the subjects that may have been forgotten about. In fact, it’s particularly helpful to make note of key terms and subjects that need a bit more attention and write out practice questions or short rhymes to really get the gears turning.
3. Finally, find a partner to do the same. When you’re done, you can trade questions for a new perspective. Being a “hands-on-learner,” this is the most influential step for me personally. If no-one’s available, I’ll simply practice my questions with my husband or take advantage of the ample practice resources that are available online. Regardless of the means, applied practice is the best way to check for understanding and wrap up any studying session!

Jillian from Virginia
College Freshman
Western Governors University