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

Growing up my parents taught me that hard work, diligence, and focus are the best ways to expand your mind. During my High School years, I spent many weekend nights downstairs in my basement studying and preparing myself for a standardized exam that I was determined to receive an excellent score on. After taking care of any of my physical needs, I would do everything I possibly could to simulate the exact experience of practicing the simulated exam.

In a brightly lit room with no distractions around, I would set a timer for 45 minutes for the first section: English. On a previously printed bubble sheet, I would fill in my answers. After the timed 45 minutes, I would move onto the hour-long math section. Just as in the actual standardized exam, after completing the math section I would go and take a short break. This short break usually involved getting a drink, eating a snack, and using the bathroom. After the short-simulated break, I would resume with setting the timer for the 35 minute reading section, followed by the timed 35 minute science section.

After going through and grading my completed test, I would record my composite and sub-scores on graph paper. With my tracked scores, I could analyze what areas I needed to improve in and what areas I was making progress in.

My next step was to go through every single question that I missed and figured out why it was wrong and what the correct answer was. When I did not understand a question, I would ask my older brother who had gotten a perfect score on the same standardized test for help and advice. He would then explain the answer to me, until I understood it. This helped me not make the same mistake in the future.

After months of this practice, I finally got an excellent score on the standardized test.

I have continued the practice of simulating tests, creating excellent study atmospheres, tracking my progress, reviewing my work, and asking experts for help and it has truly enriched my learning.

Claire from Utah
College Junior
Brigham Young University