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

Tests are stressful enough, but, feeling unprepared adds unnecessary weight. I have personal experience with this simply because I didn't know how to study. Once I found a method that worked for me, I felt more confident and at ease as well as improved my scores.

No matter what test I am studying for, I always try to time my study sessions appropriately. By this, I mean that I don't start studying so early that I will forget all the material by the day of the test, but, I don't wait till the night before the test to sit down with my books. Usually, beginning a week before works for me. If it's a larger exam or a standardized test, I begin earlier.

When I do study, I have a process to through that leaves me feeling like I have a comprehensive understanding of the material. The first thing I do is go back through the textbook/notes and reread everything even if I already think I know it. This ensures I don't have any gaps in my knowledge. If I'm studying a subject with many details, I will make a "concepts sheet" with everything I need to remember on it. Once I have the concepts down, I look through my old quizzes/tests to see where I messed up before so that I can make sure I don't make the same mistakes again. When I feel confident that I've corrected myself, I do any practice problems given to me whether they're in the back of the textbook or on a review worksheet. This gives me an idea of how questions will appear on the test so they don't look unfamiliar when the time comes. If I'm preparing for a standardized test, I do multiple practice tests over and over until I feel comfortable with the format.

I usually break down my study blocks into the categories I explained above, taking breaks when I lose energy. Also, I usually study at home to avoid distractions. My process is thorough, methodical, and at times time consuming, but very effective. My main job is to be a good student and so I feel it is a worth while endeavor.

Kyra from New Hampshire
High School Senior
Academy for Science and Design