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

In my twelve years in the American public school system, what I looked forward to the most was buying colorful highlighters and opening a fresh package of notecards While highlighting my notes and making flashcards proved to be effective early on, as standardized testing became a more prevalent part of my education, I realized I needed to up my game.
But no matter what I tried, I found that the more rigorous the curriculum got, the less confident I felt in my ability to do well on my exams. This translated exactly how I thought it would, hundreds of dollars spent on prep-books filled page to page, and dozens of hours wasted on “review videos” that left me more confused than when I started. As my grades and morale began to slip, it became more imperative that I find a solution. I didn’t want to completely forgo the study habits I built early on, but standard methods of studying just weren’t working. I thought that cultivating my new study plan would take some effort and experimentation, but little did I know, the answer to this test was right under my nose.
Music is something I have always had a passion for, from the age of five it wasn’t uncommon to find me tinkering around on a piano or singing loudly in the car. While I was preparing for my AP exams, I had turned on some music to listen to while I studied. As I hummed along to the tune of the music and looked over my notes, I realized that singing what I had written down to the rhythm of the song helped me remember key pieces of information for my test. Soon, I was looking up instrumental versions of my music and singing along, notes in hand, as I memorized my material. Come test day, I would simply think of the tune and sing my new “lyrics” in my head!
Combining my love for music with my determination to succeed helped me to develop my unique way of revising, which rewarded me with a 5 on both APUSH and AP Lang, but more importantly, a habit that will help make studying in college a sweet symphony of success.

Patricia from Arizona
High School Senior
Perry High School