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

As someone who has spent hours studying for the SAT, AP exams and dozens of classes, I've learned to take studying seriously- it can really save a grade, no matter how severe the initial mental flailing is. When preparing for a test, I like to utilize every resource available, including my teachers, notes from class and the internet.

For classes in school, I usually write down any questions I have and then try to get some one-on-one time with my teacher a few days before the test to clear everything up. With standardized tests, utilizing online resources is key- Khan Academy and YouTube have always been reliable sources, especially when I'm refreshing myself on complex topics. Whenever I study, I make sure I'm taking extremely detailed, colorful notes, because writing things down always helps me understand and remember concepts on a deeper level.

As fun and relaxing as it can be to take notes, it's often not enough to really ace that test, especially with STEM-related subjects. Practice is also extremely important because when logic and good sense fail you, it's muscle memory that kicks in to save the day. I'm currently studying for an AP English Literature Exam and an AP Chemistry Exam (yikes). Tedious as they are, the most helpful parts of my review journey have been writing daily practice essays and attempting to answer a never-ending reel of free response questions.

As for time management, I find that I'm most productive when I use the famous "Pomodoro Technique", which is a time management system that involves 25 minute sessions of focused studying separated by 5 minute breaks, with a longer break after every four study sessions. After three or four hours of sustaining this technique, I find that I've accomplished far more than what seemed possible with my tendency to procrastinate on daunting tasks.

Now that I'm preparing for my freshman year of college, I've come to accept the fact that studying will be a huge part of my life for the foreseeable future.

Joy from New Jersey
High School Senior
Burlington Township High School