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

As a high school senior at one of the most academically challenging schools in the state, I have undergone every single kind of test imaginable. From basic multiple choice and fill in the blank to tests that measure your problem solving abilities and complex thinking skills, I've endured it all. Being the overachiever I am, I have the strong inclination to do as well as I can. Studying for all of these different tests in so many different formats is not an easy task, but I managed to find a strategy that works well for me. To begin, I find tests such as problem solving and debate much easier than multiple choice, simply because my mind is geared towards these kinds of issues, so I don't study very much for these tests, except reviewing the material that could possibly be part of the test. Multiple choice formats restrict the test taker to four or five options when sometimes the answer could be more than one choice, which is a factor that does not settle well with my mind. I study for multiple choice, fill in the blank, and matching with a specific format. First, after I take notes in class, I come home and rewrite my notes, adding information from supplementing textbooks, highlighting vocabulary and the important points. Then, I reread the text, if there is any, and if the test is on a specific play or novel, I reread the book if it isn't too long and use SparkNotes to give good summaries of the chapters and provide important quotations from the text. All of this is followed by a seemingly trivial, yet very important, step in my studying process. I outline all of the material on a whiteboard and line up as many stuffed animals of mine as I can. I stand in front of them and "teach" the material to them. This is a habit I picked up from one of my friends who graduated high school a few years before me. She was valedictorian of her class, and I admired her persistence. This preparation has helped me learn to articulate the material to someone else.

Ansley from North Carolina
High School Senior
Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy