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

One method that I use for test preparation is planning ahead. Trying to digest a whole course worth of information in one day has only led me to stress and work overload. After every test that I did not study for and that I failed, I would always wish that I had more time to study. The truth is that I did. If I have a week to prepare for an exam, I can plan ahead and study a small amount every day that will eventually cover the whole course. This method has proven to boost my test scores and help me remember the course content for longer. If an archer wants to hit their target, they must aim first.

Another important technique for me is using outside resources and tools to better prepare myself. Sometimes, the brain can only do so much by itself. That is where websites like Quizlet for flashcards and Khan Academy for larger concepts come in. Even something as simple as asking a friend to help me study has helped me immensely. It is my firm belief that test preparation does not always have to be a single-handed task. There is no limit to how much online resources can benefit the student for their current and future assessments.

Lastly, too many people underestimate the dumb stuff. What I mean by that is the use of a silly phrase, a wacky pun, or even a little song that you make up. It has been my experience that the crazier the example, the more memorable it will be to your brain. Even in fourth grade when I was learning times tables, the teacher would make up little phrases to help students remember products of multiplication. One that especially sticks out to me is “I ate and I ate, and I got sick on the floor” (8 x 8 = 64). Seven years later in advanced algebra, I would always use that silly, unforgettable mnemonic whenever I saw 8 x 8. Modern education highlights “normal” methods of studying, but sometimes it is best to get weird. It is why we can remember that crazy night with our friends years ago and not anything that we did yesterday. This is how I learn.

Kalvin from Georgia
High School Senior
Jefferson High School