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

When I was in elementary school, I was a kid who spontaneously found excitement in making fill in the blank quizzes for myself. I would receive joy after creating countless notebooks with my own handwriting and mimic the test format given by teachers. As I struggled to fully master the English language, school seemed almost impossible. However, things wondrously started to look up after getting my first set of straight A's that got me enrolled in higher level classes. Although my young mind could not fathom the reason behind these extraordinary results, the self quizzes unconsciously became a habit.

From my childhood years of forming good habits, I began utilizing different techniques to factor in time and patience levels. Through a variety of study strategies that ranges from digital note cards to cramming course notes, the most successful method that worked for me was active recall. While rewriting context and making new notes were beneficial, they were also time consuming. Active recall is a way to burn information in the brain over a span of time through repetition for better long term results. Yes, as a child I was unknowingly committing myself to a form of active recall. Some other practices I have done multiple times include flash cards and mind maps but also explaining the details to myself out loud. These ways to study actively draws out what I memorized up to that point and is a phenomenal simulation for when I actually take the test. As the entire process became slightly chaotic, I had to incorporate the perfect schedules to effectively manage my time. A few weeks before the test, I would plan which topics to review on certain days, find the right methods, essentially use breaks, and always have a review the day before the exam. On top of my strong habits in the beginning, I have built upon it to achieve academic success and efficiency for years to come.

Dawn from Georgia
High School Senior
Duluth High School