The Perfect Test Prep
My test preparation method starts with a lot of fun repetition and ends with an ’A’. All of the steps I take have their own rationalization, they do not require a specific amount of time, just ensure that the required material is covered. For the sake of clarification I am going to stay with the same topic; different types of volcanoes!
1. To Start – Skim
1. To start, I skim through the course material, looking at the pictures and obtain a brief overview of the topic. It helps me to see the end result at the beginning so I know where to focus my attention.
I look at the pictures, reading the keynotes and descriptions but not the main text.
2. Take Notes
2. Next, I take hand written notes on the pertinent information. If a study guide is provided I use that to direct the information I focus on. When study guides are not provided I go through writing down anything I would deem important. More on how to take notes
3. After that is arguably the most important portion of the test prep, I associate the material with objects around me. By adding a visual aspect it helps me if I cannot remember the definition specifically. It also relaxes my mind while I try to think of the different things to associate with the material. I am still thinking about the information but in a different capacity, which requires a different part of the brain to focus on studying and really solidifies the information for me.
Composite Volcano: Composite makes me think of the wood on my floors, they are made of different types of wood squished together to form a plank, which is similar to the composite volcanoes that have different materials that layer together to form the volcano.
Shield Volcano: This one is a little obvious and self-explanatory but of course this
brings to mind a shield. I might correlate this with Marvel’s Captain America’s shield
for more significance as well.
Cinder Cone Volcano: I LOVE ME A GOOD ICE CREAM CONE, so immediately my mind associates the two. Cinder Cone Volcanoes are built from cinder of a single eruption just like ice cream cones can have single scoops of ice cream that melt down the side.
Obviously some subjects are harder then others but the harder you have to try to correlate the material the more you think about the subject without realizing it.
Another Strategy Create a List – then Repeat
I create a list of handwritten notes and organize everything into categories with bullets. Each topic has a title and then the list following. Once I have the paper(s) filled with lists, I pick the first list and write it on another piece of paper. I try to do it by memory, but at first I have to peek at the answer. But I continue to write down the list on other pieces of paper and eventually I can do it by memory. For example, when trying to memorize Maslow’s Need Hierarchy, the list would look like so:
- Maslow’s Need Theory
- Safety and security
I could then move on to the next list and repeatedly write that list. The physical motion as well as the visual viewing of something in a consistent manner put it to memory.
4. Lastly, after I feel very comfortable with the material I periodically review the information up until the day of the test, then 30 minutes prior to the test I would intensely review the personal study guide I had composed and ensure that I know
the material without having to look at the text book.
Thank you for taking the time to review my test prep, I hope my study methods helps others increase their test scores as well!
Fun fact: I actually learned a lot about volcanoes because of this prompt!
By Hunter Wooten