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

Students are often used to skimming their cheat sheet paper or frantically browsing the internet less than thirty minutes before their test will begin. I was one of those students who thought I could somehow take a digital photo in those fleeting moments and ace the test based on that mental snapshot; obviously, I was sorely mistaken. We tend to rely too much on our short term memory, which doesn’t serve us much good when we know there will be a cumulative test at the end of the semester/year as well. I didn’t quite understand the importance and capabilities of my long term memory until I took AP Psychology in the second semester of my junior year.
According to the Atkinson-Shiffrin multi-store model of memory, constant recall of information stored in short-term memory will result in easier retrieval of such information. By rehearsing this ability over an extended period of time, our speed of recall will shorten and lifetime of information storage will lengthen. Ironically, my AP Psychology exam taught me the importance of long-term memory. I quickly realized that my performance on the final exam depended mainly on my ability to recall terms and definitions so that I can apply that information to answer my questions. I decided to practice the Atkinson-Shiffrin model myself, slowly building the number of psychology terms I would review each day over the course of a month up to the exam. I followed this process religiously and when the day of the exam came I put all my materials aside and simply waited for the exam to be presented.
I received a high score of a 5 on the AP Psychology Exam and was delighted to see that my memory retention had dramatically improved due to my emphasis on long-term memory rather than short-term memory. Using review flashcards or study guides over a longer period of time with frequent breaks can benefit our overall long-term memory and and test scores, regardless of whether you use semantic or visual encoding, or even acoustic.

Malithy from Texas
High School Senior
Shadow Creek High School