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

They say all good things come in threes, and the making of a killer test prep plan is no exception. I typically do my studying in three steps and methods. This system personal helped me go from an F on my first test of a class, to an A so I can vouch for the effectiveness.

I like to call step one the Info Dump, doesn’t sound very appealing, I know, but stick with me. First, read all of the material you have, every textbook page, every paper, every extra note scribbled on loose-leaf because you were sleep-deprived and left your backpack in the dorm, get the whole gang together and just read. This is critical, do not pick up a pencil, do not underline, you don’t even have to focus very well here, just do a scan of all the information you have, get your brain loosely familiar with the materials. Once your mind is on the loose-goosey side, it is time for step two.

This is where our good old friend flash cards enter the mix, the classic technique when it comes to any kind of studying, old reliable to the rescue. Get yourself some flash cards on your designated materials, either your own or ones you found online, and then start the sudden death round. If you miss a single answer, go back to the beginning, it may feel frustrating at first, but you won’t forget the definition of “pyroclastic” ever again. It will haunt your dreams, but hey, at least they will be the dreams of an A+ student. Can you really complain? Once you’re done then turn the tables on yourself and see if you really have it down, use the questions as answers and the answers as questions.

Finally, get ready for Info Dump 2: Electric Boogaloo – this time you’re the source. Get yourself a hefty piece of paper, or two if you’re feeling lucky, and write down everything you can think of related to the topic at hand, don’t try to make it pretty, or even legible, we’re just trying to code that information directly into your melon, and bam! you;re ready for that exam around the corner.

Marina from Virginia
College Freshman
Virginia Tech