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

One of the biggest challenges to being a student is learning to adapt your study habits to match with the teaching style of your instructor. Every student learns in a different way, yet teachers often only teach a topic in one specific style. This conundrum allows endless students to fall through the cracks because they struggle to learn in the one specific way they are being taught. But over the years, I’ve developed a foolproof way of studying that can be applicable to all students, regardless of their learning style: personalized note sheets.

With the chicken scratch notes you attempted to take during the teacher’s lectures, information from the enormous textbook, and your work from class activities, it feels like sensory overload trying to gather all the necessary information needed to ace your test. But personalized note sheets have allowed me to collect all this information and put it all in one place in an organized and pleasing way. It starts with blank paper and my favorite stationery. Around my desk, I lay out all the work I’ve gathered related to the upcoming test. Then, moving one topic at a time, I put the most important information onto the note sheet. With just an empty sheet of paper, there are no limits or rules on what the note sheet has to look like. Personally, it makes studying more enjoyable for me because I allow myself to be imaginative in my design of the note sheet with subjects that often don’t allow for creativity. Most importantly, putting the information down on the note sheet allows me to work through the topics again and gain clarity on areas I was previously unsure about. When I finish the note sheet, I can proudly look at my product, feeling fulfilled and prepared for the test. Then, when taking the test, I can imagine the note sheet in my head, making it easier for me to remember the information. With personalized note sheets, students can take control of their education and confidently dominate any test in their future.

Justin from Maryland
High School Senior
Poolesville High School