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

Ah, tests. A necessary evil in the world of academia. While tests are a good way for most teachers to assess learning, they can also be incredibly difficult if students don’t have good studying methods. As AP test season rolls around, now is a better time than ever to learn new study habits and techniques. Here are a few of my favorites.

My first study strategy would be to make a cheat sheet. What concepts and definitions would you need to know for the test? Write them down. Now, don’t get me wrong, you can’t bring a cheat sheet into a closed-note test. However, just the simple act of figuring out and writing down the concepts you think are important to know can help you to better remember them for the test!

Secondly, the traditional: practicing problems that are similar to the types of problems you expect to be on the test and making flashcards out of important terms. Practicing problems, especially for logic-based tests such as math or science compared to a more memorization-based test, can be incredibly helpful when it comes to preparing you for solving the same types of problems in a testing setting. Also, flashcards can be equally as helpful for the more memorization based tests, especially when you help yourself by using mnemonics to connect the term to its definition. Practicing recalling the definition from a term or vice versa strengthens the memory pathway in your brain for when you have to perform the exact same skill on a test.

Finally, my favorite strategy: making yourself a practice test using material you expect to see on the real test. Not only does this allow you to write down concepts and figure out which concepts seem most important, this strategy puts you in your teacher’s shoes. What types of trick questions could they use? How should the questions be set up? Which questions best reflect the material gone over in class? This strategy helps you study in multiple different ways, which is why I often use it when preparing for my own tests.

Abigail from Washington
High School Senior
Pullman High School