We here at Apex always tell our clients to find what works for them and stick to it. Believe it or not, there is little need to struggle when trying to memorize certain test-taking techniques. Often a simpler solution path is always readily available. Our tutors at Apex are professionals when it comes to helping EA test takers. We teach our clients tips which suit their mental and cognitive abilities. This type of teaching is called Cognitive Empathy. How it works is that we do not force clients into a ‘one-size-fits-all’ box of EA test-prep steps and solution paths. Instead, we work with and support our clients by tailoring our approach so that they have a toolkit of skills which fit their personal needs and capabilities. Here we list four EA memorization techniques which all of our clients learn.
1. Memorize the answer layout.
On the EA, some question types have the same responses. On the Data Sufficiency portion, for example, answers are presented in the same way. These are:
- Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient
- Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient
- Both statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient
- EACH statement ALONE is sufficient
- Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient
To make the test easier, you can memorize these statements since their order and wording stay the same. We suggest memorizing them in a more simple form. For example:
- Only Statement 1
- Only Statement 2
- Only Both Statements together
- Each statement alone
This as a memorization technique will help you cut down on the time you spend on the test. You won’t need to reread the answers each time you encounter them.
2. Practice vocabulary during the day
This may sound like a fairly simple and obvious trick but trust us. This EA memorization technique helps! The vocabulary section of the EA can be tricky especially if you find your English language skills are subpar. Often people stick to flashcards to help them memorize terms and concepts. While this tactic can be useful, we found that to really engrain the meaning of complex words it is best to use them throughout the day.
We suggest deciding on a handful of words that you consider exceptionally difficult to memorize and commit to using them throughout the day. This will help you learn to structure the word within a sentence while learning how to use the word properly. In addition to using daily vocabulary, we suggest keeping a notebook of the most difficult terms you have come across and reviewing them as your vocabulary grows!
3. Use Acronyms and Mnemonics
Being out of school for a while means you are likely struggling with remembering math concepts and equations? The EA quantitative portion may appear overwhelming to test-takers. We understand this, which is why we teach our clients how to avoid using math on the EA altogether! But sometimes, the best solution path is the most direct and obvious one. Here are some tricks to remembering some basic math equations and formulas which can become a part of your EA memorization technique arsenal.
- Simple Interest Formula
- Interest = principal x rate x time
- I = prt
- Remember the equation as: I am Pretty!
- Distance Formula
- Distance = rate x time
- D = rt
- This equation can be remembered as the word: dirt
- Linear Equation
- Y = mx + b
- B for begin / M for move
- To graph a line, begin at the B-value and move according to the m-value (slope)
- Multiplying Binomials
- (x – a)(x + b)
- Remember FOIL for the order:
- Order of Operations
- When answering an equation which looks something like this: 7 x (4 / 6) + 2 = remember: PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
4. Applying visual meanings to things
This trick is most useful if you plan on taking the EA online. During your studying, look at what is around you and apply meaning to objects. For example, when working on a certain type of math problem, work out the solution while staring at the radiator in your room. Then, while taking the exam (if you are taking the EA online), look at the radiator if you come in contact with a similar type of problem. This visual trick helps your brain remember since you will be correlating that which you have recently studied with the image of the radiator. If you are taking the EA onsite, consider studying while wearing the same pieces of clothes or jewelry which you will wear during your test. Perhaps play with a bracelet or watch while memorizing words, or wear a comfy sweater which you associate with certain mnemonic devices. We teach our clients this trick and it definitely helps them during the test! Moreover, our purpose is to provide them with the best and most effective way to apply EA memorization techniques.
5. Apply the knowledge you are learning often
Reading things from a textbook and taking notes is one thing. But it is a completely different thing to practically apply the information you are learning. Completing one or two practice questions won’t automatically make you a whiz at that particular type of problem (even if you got the correct answer). Instead, make sure to practice in different locations and use different mediums (such as at a restaurant, while riding the train into work, or while cooking dinner). Doing this will challenge your brain to think strategically in various situations and under different circumstances. You can do this type of learning with the quantitative and qualitative portions of the exam that will sharpen your EA memorization techniques.
However straightforward these EA memorization techniques may seem, they nonetheless require work and dedication. As I am sure you know, hard work does pay off in the long run! The amount of work you put into your studying can dictate where you end up attending school, plus it can help with your future job search. While you are not your EA score, your test score does play a large role in your overall application to your dream school! If you are looking for extra support while preparing for the EA, we here at Apex offer bespoke one-on-one tutoring with high-achieving clients. You can schedule a complimentary, 30-minute consultation call with one of our tutors to learn more!
Contributor: Dana Coggio