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

Before eleventh grade, I used to think that I knew how to study efficiently. I was acing all my classes, and school seemed to be a cakewalk for me. At my junior year of high school, however, loads of rigorous classes were thrown at me, and I was not performing academically well as I did in the past. As a result, I had to reconstruct and create new study habits that would help me perform better at school. This whole experience taught me that I could study less AND study smart.
I often find it productive when I study in short intervals. After all, our brains can only retain so much information, and they need a break. The Pomodoro Technique ensures that I manage my time wisely and properly retain information. I study intensely in 25-minute intervals, separated by short breaks. I find it easier to manage my time when I follow this technique.
I also find it helpful to summarize my notes. Summarizing my notes teaches me to identify the most important ideas of my notes and to discard the irrelevant information.
Another general study method I use is to teach the material to anyone, making sure they understand it. The ability to thoroughly teach a concept to someone who does not have knowledge in that area is a great indicator that I am ready for the test. However, the areas that I find myself struggling to explain are the same areas that I know I need more work on.
A specific studying method for subjects that require a lot of memorization, like biology and anatomy, is using Quizlet. Quizlet is a web-based study application that allows me to study information through the use of learning tools (e.g. virtual notecards) and games (e.g. match). Quizlet is free and easy to make, and I have found that creating a Quizlet helped me memorize information faster.
For subjects that require critical thinking like mathematics and physics, I do practice problems or take a practice test. Doing practice problems helps me identify areas that I need more work on.
This is how I study smart.

Kristine from New Jersey
High School Senior
American Christian School