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

Being a student in the International Baccalaureate program, I often felt like an imposter surrounded by students who barely had to bat an eyelash to ace a test. That certainly wasn’t me. So how did I manage to be in the top 3% of my class with a spot in NYU next fall? I studied smart. A lot of people try to study by making perfectly color-coordinated notes with handwriting that almost looks typed. My notes are most definitely not perfect. In order to study the material for nearly every class, repetition is my key to success. Rewriting the words from my textbook or teachers’ powerpoints rather than just reading them is a great strategy that I’ve picked up. I like to write my own explanations of the same concept over and over on a piece of paper, sometimes changing the words a bit so that I know I truly understand it and not just memorize it. This memorization using repetition combined with a deep understanding has allowed me to prosper in classes such as IB biology,where I get tested on many lengthy and complicated natural processes. After I finish writing down a concept various times to familiarize myself with it,I like to read it out loud; I believe this lets me encode the words into my long-term memory better and not just memorize it for the test. Another one of my favorite studying strategies is teaching my dog. In sophomore year my AP Gov teacher spoke some of the wisest words I’ve heard: being able to teach someone a concept means that you’ve fully grasped it. My dog was slightly more accessible than my peers, so I’ve used him as a student. It seems weirder than it is. Teaching him always helps me identify what I struggle to understand because I can’t formulate my words properly, so I keep studying until I can. He’s the smartest dog I know. This method, of course, is applicable to actual people, and it’s come in handy whenever I study with a group of friends. These are the tricks that allowed me to excel in one of the world’s most rigorous education programs.

Angie from Florida
High School Senior
John A. Ferguson Senior High School