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

Studying for a test was never an easy task. In fact, it was always quite grueling for me. There wasn’t anything fun about reading and rereading a page multiple times to ingrain the information into my memory till the very sight of the page made me want to gouge my eyes out. However, studying had to be done in order for me to succeed in my academics and now at the end of High School, I think I can say I’ve developed some productive study skills and they come in the form of preparation, repetition, and resilience.
One of the key strategies, I’ve learned, for battle that is tests is preparation. It begins with mapping out the details; what information must I master? How much time do I have to master it and how much time can be spent each day? Now that I’ve prepared for battle, I must engage in battle.
When it comes to studying itself, it’s all about repetition. Though making flashcards is tedious, it’s very much worth it in the end. The writing out of the flashcards is helpful in familiarizing oneself with information and using them daily and intentionally deems one a master of it. Repetition can also take the form of feverish notetaking; I found that, after studying a text, I could more easily remember the facts that I had written down and reviewed multiple times than the ones I had not.
Now some tests were not studied for so perfectly, it was tempting to prepare a nice study plan and not follow through with. It’s funny how our own brains can deceive us into thinking we have all the time in the world and that studying doesn’t actually need to be done in the moments we designated for it. This is where resilience comes in. When I didn’t exactly master the information and the eve before the test drew near, I had to push through. Regroup, rally the troops, and never surrender. When I realized all that I had not done, my animalistic instinct to survive, or at least to not fail, kicked in and the panic initiated my resilience. In these instances, my only aids were strongly brewed tea and Led Zeppelin played very loudly as I pressed on through the hours of the night; reading, rereading, and memorizing, all to make sure I was prepared for the test at hand.
In conclusion, the two main skills that I have developed in studying for tests are preparation and repetition. Preparation requires that I plan the steps I will take to make sure I perform well academically and repetition is actually taking those steps. Resilience is when all else fails. It is not collapsing under the pressure of learning information but powering through with strong tea and loud music in the late hours of the night. Studying, I have learned, is like battle; it requires preparedness, skill, and a will to never surrender.

Caley from Arizona
High School Senior