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

As a senior in high school, my first instinct before a big test is panic. Panic and cram my way through an entire textbook and memorize unimportant information until I’m sure to be sleep deprived enough the next day to not remember a thing. But as instinctual as this method is, it produces terrible results and lacks any amount of efficiency. There are many methods I have found to help in not only test preparation but in general studies as well. But if I had to summarize how to prepare for a test in less than five words, they would be; flashcards, practice tests, and sleep.
Most difficult tests, at least for me are the ones that require the memorization of a lot of quantitative data such as historical dates, and complicated algebra formulas. My preferred method of memorizing key information is flashcards. Flashcards encourage repletion and if used correctly, memorizing material through compressed and direct information helps trigger my long term memory for other useful information I will need during the test. Although very useful, flashcards are better used to memorize small bits of material that will then help you remember a larger scope of the information. Personally, I avoid using flashcards for anything else other than factual information.
There is one test preparation method that will never fail and that is, practice. If I am reading through my notes or study materials, I always make sure to write down a few random questions about what I am reading to quiz myself on later. There is no better way to prepare for a test than to actually test your knowledge directly from what you are trying to study
Sleeping is not exactly on anyone’s priority list when it comes to testing preparation. All those hours of valuable study time wasted on a comatose state of unawareness. But maintaining a proper sleeping schedule benefits not only your memory but your mental health as well.
In conclusion study smart AND hard, take as many practice tests as you can and get some sleep.

Kay from Pennsylvania
High School Senior
Penn Foster High School