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

During my high school years, you could ask anyone; I never studied. And somehow miraculously, I received A's on everything. I guess you could say I absorbed what I needed to in class or maybe I was just lucky that my teacher's exams were not that difficult. That entire perspective changed during my first semester of college. I did not know how to study and naive little me decided it was best to just go with the flow. I quickly learned (after failing 4 exams within the first month of my lectures) that I needed to not only learn how to study but to apply my studying strategies well under pressure. I tried many different strategies like writing notecards, repeatedly writing things over and over, reading the material weeks before the exam, I even tried writing in blue ink! (which actually does not improve memory). At times I would even fall asleep listening to a recording of myself or the material to magically wake up knowing all of the information I needed to know for my exam. These so-called techniques were utterly futile. So I took initiative (which is something I should have done to begin with) and found what study technique was best for me. If I am given a section of text to read, like a textbook for example, I read through the entire text highlighting important information. This is method is usually done day by day to avoid overload. On the next day from the highlights I took on the previous day, I take extensive notes and come up with questions that can be answered through the text. On the next day, I take my notes and highlight more specific things from it. At this time I will also answer the questions that I have asked on the previous day. After I have taken notes from my notes, I am usually able to obtain most of that information so when I go back to study, I look at keywords and already know information about it. I learned not to study to memorize but to study to apply. This method is very extensive but it has worked very efficiently for me.

Juliana from Texas
College Freshman
Midwestern State University