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

Cramming! If you say you’ve never crammed for a test, that’s a lie. Although cramming for a test doesn't work for long term retention of information, it sure does work in a pinch. Why? It helps us with recognition. By reviewing tons of information all at once right before a test, we are able to quickly go to the dusty little cardboard box pile of information in our short term memory, only for it to quickly get reshelved after the test. Although this method is not ideal for education, it works for tests, and pairs well with various systems, whether it be flashcards, reviewing old tests, or reading notes. Cramming has gotten me through a lot of GE classes that I had little interest in, and will continue to be a favorite study method of many students.

For those classes we go to college for, we may sometimes lean on cramming for tests, but personally, I’d rather not. Because I love the subject and class, I equally put more effort into studying. Rather than study for a test that I know is coming up, I continually study through volitional note taking. By taking notes, you have to physically write the information out, and muscle memory aligns with regular memory. Not only that, you have to process and think about what to write, therefore pounding the information into your brain in a concise manner. By continually taking notes on every chapter or lecture, along with making study guides, that information builds into knowledge, and before you know it, you know it!

Crystal from California
College Junior
UC Santa Barbara