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

For me, test preparation begins with the initial learning of the material. I don’t use fancy colors when writing my notes, but I always box up important formulas and write down comments from the teachers that help me understand or memorize a concept. I notice that many students are afraid or reluctant to write down more than what the teacher writes. However, I think that listening to the teacher’s lectures and explanations is just as important as writing down notes. When I’m studying, I always remember the phrases my teachers used, making it easier for me to study.
My study methods vary depending on the subject. For social sciences and history, I like to remember events and details as bullet points. I read through my notes once and recreate the story in my head. Then, I cover up my notes and try to recount the story again with all the bullet points. For example, when I’m studying about the Great Compromise, I think about how smaller states like New Jersey have a tough time getting their voices heard. Thus, they want each state to have equal votes. On the other hand, Virginia is a large state in terms of population, so they can easily stamp out the voices of small states. Thus, they want proportional representation. As a result of these two disagreements, our Congress was formed with equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives. My reasoning always covers all the bullet points in my notebook, but instead of trying to force myself to memorize each bullet, I create a narrative that carries me from point to point.
For math and science, my study methods are completely different. I strongly believe that for math and science, the greatest study method is simply to practice. The more practice problems you do, the more exposed you are to different types of problems. Furthermore, using the same formula over and over again in homework problems makes it easier for me to memorize that formula.

Ling from California
High School Senior
Murrieta Mesa High School