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

There are countless obstacles that one faces in life, but one challenge stands out for its predictability--the test. Unlike the proverbial dragon that lurks at the end of a quest, standardized tests and assessments can be slain through a devotion to study and preparation---studying, drilling, practicing, washing, rinsing, repeating. That’s been a pretty successful formula for me in test preparation. I have found that the secret ingredient in the test preparation bag of tricks is to make it fun.
My typical test preparation routine involves the use of flashcards. I have found that by using flashcards, I have a physical, tangible set of key concepts and facts that I need to master. I can flip through them and cast aside the ones that I have learned. As the stack of what I need to learn grows smaller, I can see that my preparation is paying off.
In order to mentally prepare for a test, one has to have an emotional outlet. The challenge to study is not only in the routine itself but also in making the habitual interesting. One way to add excitement and originality to a routine is to create rewards and incentives within study sessions. As I make it through my set of flashcards, I reward myself with a short break.
My favorite study break is to roll a 10-sided die. Originating with the board game Dungeons and Dragons, I roll the die to determine what my exercise workout routine will be for my study break. For example, if I roll a 1, I will do 25 burpees; for an 8, I will go for a two-mile run. For every set of flashcards, I make a different set of rewards.
When I actually take a daunting test--like SAT--I sometimes find myself thinking about my 10-sided die. It’s not a golden ax or an enchanted sword, but my die-rolling study break is my secret weapon. These techniques helped me slay the SAT and will help me with my AP exams. Together with my flashcards, I will use them as a technique in my quiver of strategies to be successful in college and beyond.

Liam from Colorado
High School Senior
Ouray High School