Use the adjective preparatory when you're getting ready for something. If you spend the day cleaning your house before a big party, the work you're doing is preparatory.

You can call something preparatory when it helps you prepare. A summer school class that lays the groundwork for a calculus course in the fall is preparatory, and so are a coach's words of advice before the start of a football game. High schools that specifically ready students for college work are sometimes called "preparatory schools," or "prep schools" for short. The Latin root is praeparationem, "a making ready."

Definitions of preparatory
  1. adjective
    preceding and preparing for something
    preparatory steps”
    synonyms: preparative, propaedeutic
    existing or coming before
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