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

Test preparation allows us to identify our strengths and weaknesses, and be more ready to face a challenging exam. My most effective test preparation practice is to do a lot of past papers, not only in order to familiarize the topic, but also to be more manageable with the format of the test.
I am an IB Diploma student, meaning that my final high school grades are decided by external correctors, instead of my school’s teachers. While many people may believe it is a disadvantage, I strongly believe I can overcome the fear of being evaluated externally by using the right test preparation techniques. The fact that I am examined by external correctors implies that the format of the exams that I will take at the end of the two-year IB Diploma program will be extremely similar to the format of previous years’ exams. Hence, analyzing the common patterns is past paper is the strategy that works best for me.
While this technique might be extremely useful for disciplines such as Mathematics, it might not always work in other Areas of knowledge. The Environmental Systems and Societies course promotes students to be more inquisitive and open-minded, and to find new examples - apart from the example given in the course book - to illustrate our responses in an exam. For example, students might be asked to name an endangered species. While most students will think about writing a simple and easy answer, such as “panda”, the IB Diploma promotes students to remember exotic names of species, for example, the “Okapi”, a bizarre animal that looks like a creation from the fantasy world, since they are described as a hybrid of zebras and giraffes. Therefore, another test preparation practice that best works for me is to do research constantly, especially and particularly outside school hours, because not only I arm myself with real-life examples, it also allows me to have a broader vision of the real world, it strengthens my curiosity, and it develops myself as a person.

Carla from New York
High School Senior
Hamelin Laie International School (Spain)