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

The SAT, AP testing and important tests at school cause a lot of stress, but to feel prepared eases much of this. I have found that by using online study tools, talking to other students, and dedicating large amounts of time, is the best way to prepare for an important exam.
When it was time for me to take the SAT for the last time before applying to colleges, I was terrified. I had no idea what I was doing wrong since the second time I took it resulted in a lower score than the first. My mom encouraged me to get a tutor, but in reality, I knew she could not afford to pay someone to tutor me. I decided to utilize the free SAT prep that was online. I dedicated hours nightly for weeks on end and took the 4-hour long practice twice before the day of the test. This constant practice and rigorous online studying is what allowed me to score 120 points higher than my first exam, and helped me get into my dream college. Without this studying practice, I most likely would not have been accepted to my top schools.
Many people study best with face-to-face assistance. These practices were fruitless to me in many tutoring sessions. What I found most helpful was continuous online example practice for math, and alone-time with "Quizlet" for other subjects like English and Social Studies. The flashcards and examples were incredibly helpful for me, but I had to be in a quiet, isolated place so that I could deeply retain the information.
Although I prefer to study alone, I found that talking to students who had taken a specific class and asking about their study techniques was very helpful. It helped me to learn whether I needed to only study terms, take better notes, or what to practice before a test. Each class is different, which is why I would recommend doing this for every student.
Studying can be a time consuming and difficult process. Everyone studies differently, but these techniques have helped me become a better test-taker and student.

Zoe from North Carolina
High School Senior
Central Academy of Technology and Arts