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

Test-taking is a special skill that takes work and lots of practice to master. Over the years as a student, I have been able to test out and discover the most effective techniques that help me retain information and prepare for a test.
The type of test I am preparing for is important because different tests all require different strategies. To prepare for a history test, the primary goal is to memorize major historical figures and events. For a math test, the goal is to understand and memorize the formulas and methods of solving the problems. For a science test, depending on which science, you might need to memorize facts and the formulas. Lastly, for a standardized test like the SAT or ACT, rather than knowing the information, it is more important to have certain test-taking skills to answer the questions easily and quickly.
For subjects with memorization, the most useful technique is to create and use flashcards. I hand-write my flashcards because writing things down on a paper helps me remember the terms better than typing it out. In addition, I also like creating one-page outlines with the most important ideas, which helps serve as a guide while I study and read from my notes and textbooks. For subjects that require more problem-solving, the best way to master this is through practice. Finding additional chapter problems with different numbers and wording is helpful in ensuring that I understand the flow of the question and the steps to solve it.
For standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, the topics required are fairly easy; the trickiest part is decoding the question and finding the most efficient way to answer it. What helped me with this were preparation books. Prep books taught me the “small tips and tricks” that allowed me to complete the tests accurately and on time. For example, I knew certain keywords to scan for in readings and problems that would help me determine what I needed to do to select the correct answer.

Kathleen from California
College Sophomore
Cerritos College