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

I don’t believe there is one great study method that works across the board. No two subjects can be learned the exact same way, so why not make your study method as dynamic as your classes? The only constant for me is that I prefer to study alone, as I love the freedom to be able to put on my headphones and block out the cacophony of the outside world. Music and white noise are great ways to get me focused, and it varies from subject just like my actual studying methods.

Math in particular is my favorite subject to put a soundtrack behind. Unless you’re taking statistics, math problems usually have one concrete answer and don’t really allow your imagination to run wild. For this reason, I admit, I can get bored of it easily. So I put on my favorite songs to energize me and do as many practice problems as I have time for, whether they’re from the textbook or a good website. This works very well for me because I hate just memorizing a bunch of formulas, I need to put them to use. And it especially proves to be effective during free response tests.

Another tricky subject I need to study for often is science. Music with words often is too distracting for this subject, so instead I turn on a white noise. I love using sounds that match an interesting application of the science in question. Since I want to be an astrophysicist, I motivate myself and make my physics problems more interesting by playing audios of the planets in our solar system (my favorite is of Neptune). When studying science, the most effective thing for me to do is actually read the book and understand the concepts. From there, I like to take notes and make flow charts that I can glance at throughout the day. This works especially well with my attention span.

Studying will always be more effective when it’s fun for the person doing it. This is why I believe it’s so important to switch it up and do it in a way that 's interesting.

Janaya from Maryland
High School Senior
Eleanor Roosevelt High School