Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.
I used to think that test preparation was not helpful for standardized tests. It is so crazy to me now that I ever believed that. We as humans are constantly learning and bettering ourselves and to think that the same idea does not apply to test preparation was naive. I would usually read over material that I already understood instead of forcing myself to work on subjects that I did not have a good grasp on. I slowly came to realize that this form of preparation (if you could even consider it “preparation”) was not leading to positive results. Then I learned two things: I would aim to sit down for long periods of time and just try to cram and tough it out and the way that I studied was not improving my performance. Since discovering this about myself, I have learned to do short but focused study sessions and to space it out over the course of a period of time. I set timers on my phone or computer. During this time, I am focused on the task of studying. As soon as the timer stops, I take about a ten-minute break where I recharge, play on my phone, and relax. When that timer goes off, I jump right back into work knowing that a rewarding break will come soon. This method of test preparation has been really helpful because it rewards my study time with a short relaxing break. It allows me to focus on my practice tests and truly understand the material. The other thing I learned about myself was that taking practice tests were much more beneficial to me than notecards. I used to swear by notecards where there was a question on one side and the answer on the other. However, I realized that taking practice tests that mimic the timing of the real thing is much more helpful to me. Using this method allows me to practice timing myself per question and making the most effective use of my time. Changing my practices has helped me a lot since high school and they are things I carry with me even now in college.
Maria from Georgia
University of Georgia