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

The way I prepare my self for tests is by using a blanket. I have set certain rules for study time in such a way that certain materials are needed to complete tasks. For example, whenever I am doing homework or studying, I will place a blanket on my chair to indicate that I am studying. If I remove the blanket from my chair, it is time for me to relax or watch something. This process requires a lot of willpower, but it is effective. This process took me a month to master but it was worth it in the end, with something to signify that it is time to study and when to relax. By using a blanket, I programmed my brain to think playtime when there was no blanket and study time when there was one on my chair. This method may seem like a silly way to may myself focus on studying, but it seems to work.
Now that I had controlled the times I would focus on studying, I had to develop a process with which I could study effectively. I had to experiment around a bit, but I eventually developed a system that works best for me. I think that the main reason students fail to study is that they don't have a system of their own and most of the time try to copy what might work for others. Whenever I start studying, the first thing I go to is my notes and I skim over those notes. I don't go reading word to word, but I do look it over to remember the basic concepts. My next step would usually be to go directly to the textbook because that's where the chunk of the knowledge resides. I do not read the whole textbook chapters because that will be a huge waste of time, I only go and review chapters that I did not understand in the notes. My third is flashcards, flashcards may seem like an obvious choice one, but I like to think otherwise. When you create flashcards after you have already studied most of the materials, you are more likely to include important things that need remembering.
This system of studying has improved my overall grades and performance in school.

Gaurav from Texas
High School Senior
Clear Horizons Early College High School