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

Beginning high school, I was thrown into a much higher education level than I was prepared for by my middle school. I had to reevaluate my study skills as a result. Freshman year, my grades suffered as I tried to adapt to more challenging tests and exams. However, through trial and error, I have determined that flashcards and practice tests are the most effective study tools to help me prepare for a challenging test.
I began using flashcards during my freshman year, and I have continued to utilize their quick yet effective approach to studying. I find flashcards to be useful in memorization. I buy a whole stack of them at the store and use pretty colors or quick doodles as I am writing down the terms to help myself associate the term with something more relevant. Writing the term and definition down, and then repeatedly memorizing it, helps me to remember the vocabulary more effectively. While that helps me with specific course tests, I took a different approach when studying for the SAT.
To study for the SAT and AP exams, I would print out practice tests and sit at my dining room table to study. I would dedicate four hours from my Saturdays to sit and do the whole test. I would do the practice tests until I got the score I wanted. This way, I was not blind going into the real test. I knew what the questions would be asking and what they were looking for. This tactic has led me to pass all my AP exams and receive the desired score on my SAT.
Through an experimental approach, I have found that both flashcards and practice tests are the most successful study tools to help me prepare for a challenging test. Flashcards help me with memorizing content. Through the repetition of writing out the term and definition and using key colors/doodles, I use flashcards in my day to day schoolwork. For much larger tests, I use practice tests. This helps me to understand the workings of the test. Because of these tools, I will graduate high school with all honors and a 4.0 GPA.

Alice from Ohio
High School Senior
Saint Ursula Academy