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

When I hear words like these about an upcoming test, my mind immediately goes into study mode. I think about what I need to know, when I’ll need to know it, and how I’ll study. In grade school, I found that flashcards were my favorite study method because of its simplicity; one term equals one answer. As I advanced academically, I learned that not all terms have only one answer and memorization does not necessarily equate to good grades.
In order to do my best in a class, I need to wrap my head around important concepts and do more than just spit out information verbatim. Instead, I have found unique methods of studying that work for me. For example, in my honors physics class, with my notes, a sharpie and a giant roll of solid-color wrapping paper, I can do more than just memorize. After writing down foundational information and vocabulary words, I can draw diagrams and make connections between concepts so I can visualize the information. Utilizing this practice has helped me understand how the laws of physics apply to the inner workings of refrigerators and satellites.
For classes like my honors Spanish class, the road to being fluent takes more than just a roll of wrapping paper or memorizing vocabulary words between the two languages. Everyday, I take steps to become fluent through social media on Instagram by keeping up with my favorite Star Wars fan accounts in Spanish. As a 21st century teenager, I have turned what could be mindless hours on the internet into language review and cultural exploration through memes, commentaries, and fan theories about the Star Wars films. By reading about movies that I love in Spanish, I can review grammar rules and apply vocabulary words to topics that I can speak about.
My studying methods may be untraditional, but instead of copying and pasting information from the paper to my brain, I can expand on what I know through my mom’s collection of wrapping paper and the touch of a button.

Angela from Ohio
High School Senior
Padua Franciscan High School