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

My secret, foolproof routine for test prep has never failed me, and today I am going to reveal that secret to you.

Whether it is an AP Chemistry test or a calculus exam, my general preparation practice remains consistent. A few days before the test, I first look through my notes to jog my memory of the material. This helps with my next step, which is to read the textbook summaries at the end of each chapter. The combination of these two procedures allow me to solidify my understanding of the topic before I delve into any review questions.

This brings me to my next step: practice, practice, practice. If my years of piano, tennis, and dance training have taught me anything, it is that solid practice is what results in the best performance. Before any test I always do as many practice questions as I can find until I truly feel confident in the material. Once I am happy with my preparation (this point varies with every test), I make sure to get as much sleep as I can before test day. Beauty rest also affects the brain!

The next morning, I wake up to my alarm, eat a filling breakfast, and head off to school. About an hour before the test, I review my notes one last time, not to learn anything new, but to reassure myself that I am prepared and ready for the exam. My final trick is to pop a piece of mint gum in my mouth before the test starts; for some reason it always makes me more focused, and my routine is incomplete without it.

With this seemingly simple preparation, I find that I am always in the best position for taking any test. Although it has taken me a few years to develop my test prep practices, I know that I am ready to tackle any exam in college next year.

Maya from New Jersey
High School Senior
Montgomery High School