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

When it comes to preparing for tests, there are two primary methods to effectively become ready, and psychology has proven that quizzing and spaced retrieval practice are the two ways. Quizzing, whether it’s in a group or by oneself, allows for anyone to be tested on what they know and exposed to the concepts that are unfamiliar to them. This is an effective way to prepare for a test as simulating what the test may look like based on content and format can help avoid any surprises that may come on the real test. Another popular form of quizzing is the use of flashcards, since they can be quick and straightforward, which is valuable when a limited time is given to prepare. For spaced retrieval practice, it can depend on how long one needs to know the information studied. A student that only needs to know the academic content for next week’s test can have study periods closer to each other. On the other hand, studying for a test that has content that can be used later on in one’s academic career requires more time between each study period to ensure the student really knows the content. Being able to recall concepts after a month of not consistently studying them is more impressive than recalling information from two hours prior. Spaced retrieval practice, combined with an adequate amount of sleep, can greatly improve someone’s ability to recall information, and after a semester of trying both quizzing and spaced retrieval practice, I’ve seen a significant improvement in my recollection of the class material. I used to stay away from quizzing and procrastinated until it was time to cram overwhelming amounts of information in one night, but they often didn’t produce healthy test scores. The use of quizzing and spaced retrieval practice has been proven by psychology to be the most effective methods in preparing for tests.

Nicholas from Arizona
College Sophomore
The University of Arizona