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

My transition from middle to high school was difficult. I had not pushed myself in middle school, and after signing up for an AP course sophomore year, I knew that I was not ready. I quickly saw that I had never developed proper study skills, and it was about time that I figured something out.

It all started with a new friend group. I am fortunate to have met them, as they were highly motivated kids who eagerly took all the hardest courses in the school and signed up for the most clubs. As we became friends, I discovered the secret to their high grades: they studied together. For each class, we made group chats so that questions and class updates could circulate the entire class. This way of studying helped me see that I learned better when I explained answers to other students’ questions.

My most used strategy for studying for tests that require a great deal of memorization is making a summary sheet. When I first approach a huge pile of notes, I like to ease my way into hardcore studying by first sorting the notes by topic. After I’ve organized my notes in “micro topics”, I study each pile while creating a summary sheet of the most important things I need to know. As long as I know everything on my review sheet, I am set for the test. It is a lengthy task, but it fixes the content in my brain by rewriting the material while creating a brief review sheet that I can skim right before the test.

To test my retention of the material, I turn to the Internet. This handy-dandy source holds countless free questions that I can use to practice the content that I’ve studied. I can find flashcard practice questions to help me memorize vocabulary, free-response questions from the past 30 years for my AP classes, and videos that can explain the last bits of details that I still haven’t completely understood.

Although they may have to be modified for college, I believe that the study strategies I have developed through high school will greatly benefit me in the future.

Erin from Georgia
High School Senior
Chattahoochee High School