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

Out of 473 students in my graduating class, I am the valedictorian. Even though I hold such a prestigious title, I know that I am not the smartest or most intellectual out of this group of students. Other students have more of a natural ability to remember information and use this to their advantage in school. Even though I lack this ability, I make up for it in my work ethic. I spend hours every night doing homework and studying. Even during this time when we are confined to our home, I spend a majority of the day studying and preparing for upcoming tests and AP exams. In fact, yesterday I spent six hours studying for three AP exams. I know the time I spend studying can be used for better and more exciting things, but this time studying has helped me gain my prestigious title and helped me get accepted to some of the top universities in the nation including University of California Berkeley and Georgia Institute of Technology.

As I have spent so much time studying, I developed a number of different techniques that I use constantly to make sure I am prepared for anything I see. I commonly seek out practice questions, read over my notes, and rewrite material, but the technique I use the most is pretending to teach the content. After reading over the material a couple of times, I like to pretend that I am teaching a class this material. While doing this, I often find questions that will help me better understand what I am teaching and will let me completely understand the content. With this technique I am able to write better essays and short answers. Although I utilize this technique the most, I believe that time is the best test preparation method. I like to start studying for tests a week before they start and exams a month before they start. This allows me to spend multiple days studying the material and have time to get questions answered. However, while these techniques work best for me, something else may work better for others.

Matthew from New York
High School Senior
Lancaster High School