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

Central to America’s public school system is the idea of testing. Students are often faced with several tests per week, which can be very stressful and draining, especially when students do not know how to study properly. Although every student is different, there are some studying strategies that I have found work well for me.
Writing notes by hand is a strategy that helps with retaining information. Studies have shown that writing things by hand instead of typing on a computer helps with information retention, and I have found this strategy to be extremely helpful. I also tend to use colorful pens to write some of my notes. For example, in Anatomy, I took notes on different muscle groups in your average domestic cat. There were over 50 muscles in the cat, organized into 7 muscle groups, and we had to memorize astronomical amounts of information on them. It was as overwhelming as it sounds, and my Anatomy teacher named the big test “Catageddon”. I wrote the muscle groups down, each group in a different color pen, over and over again until I could remember everything I needed with just the name of the muscle. The different colors helped me organize the information mentally, and my brain remembered which muscle was written in which color, which helped me immensely on the test.
Another resource that is very helpful when it comes to studying is Khan Academy. This year, as a senior taking AP Calculus, I have found myself using Khan Academy several days in a row when leading up to a big test. Khan Academy has explanatory videos that teach subjects and quizzes to help students assess their skills. Whenever a student gets an answer wrong, explanations are offered to help students better understand it. If ever there is a topic in AP Calculus that confuses me, I can always go online and see another explanation of it on Khan Academy. Because of this resource, I personally feel very confident as the AP Exam approaches in May.
Although every student has different studying strategies, I have found writing notes by hand, using colorful pens, and studying with Khan Academy to be the most useful studying methods. It is most important, however, for each student to discover what studying strategies work well for them in order to utilize their time and retain the most information they can to make good grades.

Megan from Michigan
High School Senior
Thornapple Kellogg High School