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

Test preparation has been a skill I have been honing throughout high school, and through four years of competitive AP courses and countless standardized tests, I have found what works for me.
In general, certain strategies have proven most successful for me. First, I also try to space out my studying, breaking intimidating concepts into digestible pieces and reviewing starting at least a week before the examination. I review by outlining key points from lectures and highlighting points of confusion, keywords, and important sections, each in a different color. Furthermore, I often find it helpful to include diagrams and charts in my notes to provide visual context.
For vocabulary-heavy material, I use flashcards, like those provided by Mometrix. In my experience, repetitive learning helps me digest concepts better, and because flashcards are fast and portable, I find that I can constantly learn new information at any time or place. Furthermore, flashcards make it very easy to isolate which parts of the material I need to more extensively review and which I already understand fully.
When the material is less about memorization and more about application, nothing works better for me than practice tests. Fortunately, the Mometrix service provides helpful study guides to many of the tests and subjects I’ve encountered. I find that practice tests are not only helpful to isolate gaps in understanding, but also to more deeply understand the test itself. Often, without doing problem sets, I find it difficult to apply textbook concepts to actual problems. In fact, I find mastering test-taking strategy as integral as mastering material when it comes to high scores. After scoring my practice, I either look to peer- or self-feedback to ensure I truly understand my mistakes and will not repeat them in the future.
Preparing for exams is a skill I’ve worked on extensively. While some strategies change from subject to subject, overall, I have found what works for me.

Sofia from Texas
High School Senior
Dulles High School