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

My favorite part of taking my AP Psychology class my junior year of high school was that it taught me how to learn. Yes, after all these years of schooling, you would think that I would know how to study effectively. In this class I learned a probably obvious, yet magic tool called the spacing effect. This entails that information is studied regularly over a long time period before your test, which could be a week, two weeks, even a month. It´s definitely a better option than cramming all that information into your brain at 2AM the night before a test (and a lot of caffeine later). If I know that a test is coming up, I´ll do things such as review the notes, create flashcards of important ideas, or even write questions on the topic that would imitate real test questions. I´ll do all of this, but more importantly, over the process of about a week leading up to the test. Of course, it´s all dependant on the type of test (i.e. SAT) or how busy I am that determines how long beforehand I study. If I know I have a swim meet or heavier amounts of homework, I study even earlier than I would usually.

However, no student is perfect, and, in more simple words, life happens. When it does come to the point that I would need to cram for a test, there is a test preparation method I like to use (you can even use it when you´re not cramming). When I need to remember I´ll do all sorts of creative things like: making a rhyme for a phrase I need to remember, a rap song, replace the words of a catchy commercial tune, or I´ll relate it to a funny meme that´s already stuck to my brain. This way, it´s not just reading something over and over again at the last minute with the hopes of you remembering it, because you can just relate it to ideas that you already think about, or enjoy. It makes studying more entertaining, and most of all, easier on yourself.

Katrina Isabelle from California
High School Senior
Tahquitz High School