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

During tests, I always had an overwhelming feeling of nervousness. I tried my best to calm it but I knew it was inevitable because testing environments are uncomfortable. However, I wanted a new test-taking strategy in my Sophomore year of high school. I was used to taking Regents and class tests that my methods were not working on exams from the College Board. To develop those practices, I took advice from my AP Psychology Professor because she knew how people think and the best way to remember notes.
I mainly prepare for tests by re-reading notes every day for about 10 minutes to refresh my memory. I thought it wouldn’t make a difference but I was proven wrong. It was obvious when I missed looking over my notes because I had trouble recalling content when my teacher went over it. This technique was just the tip of the iceberg since it only helped with surface-level information. My mother always said that the best way to learn is to teach others. My friends and I always quiz each other over Video Call or in class. My teacher also encourages students to take over the class or help with lessons. I think a lot of students would be surprised at how many teachers are open to students teaching. If that is not attainable, I think working with those who want to do well is a great way to prepare. It gives you a different perspective on how the test-makers think.
I think it is important for students to alter the way they study depending on the test or its difficulty. Some students are not open to different ways because they are so comfortable even if it is not working. This is why when I first took the SATs and AP tests, I had to change to studying practice tests since the way College Board tests are designed are so different from what I was used to. I found this helped a lot especially if we are taking tests online. It’s good to set yourself in a comfortable environment and mindset. Students often overlook how important healthy head space and confidence is during testing.

Vanessa from New York
High School Senior
Dr Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School