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

There are only so many hours in a day, and every minute is precious. Between volleyball practice, working part-time, and organizing events for student council, studying can often fall to the wayside. But, after many years of learning how to balance my schedule, I have learned a study method that guarantees me a good grade.

In class, my notes are messy. I scribble down what I can from the board, and always leave room for comments the teacher makes that I find noteworthy. Oftentimes, if a teacher allows for our class notes to be downloaded, I will pull them up on my own personal computer in order to read all the information from the slide before the teacher moves on. When it comes time to begin studying for the test, often a couple of days before, I begin rewriting my notes. This time, I write them much more neatly, and often color-coordinated. It is easier to relate information to the colors they are written in. I also prefer handwriting study notes because I am able to remember things due to muscle memorization. When I rewrite my notes, I do not completely transfer everything I wrote down first, and instead, only copy the important information.

When there is a certain topic I’ve had difficulty understanding, I will often completely reread that unit, or turn to a friend for help. I find that asking others in my class for their take on a subject often gives me a different perspective that then enables me to create my own interpretation. Individuals retain and process information differently, so having study sessions with my friends often allows me to remember important points that I may have skimmed over in class.

My favorite routine I practice is chewing the same flavor of gum while studying that I will chew during the test. The flavor helps jog my memory when I’m feeling a little stuck. All in all, I follow a main formula to study for tests; colorization, muscle memory, and asking a friend.

Olivia from Indiana
High School Senior
Evansville North High School