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

Throughout high school, I’ve tested a variety of ways of test prep - as a senior, I believe I’ve come up with a personal process for studying for tests, finals, and the like.
The first thing I do is to go back through the book and read what we went through. I don’t read my notes mainly because the book has all that and more - at this point, the idea is to let information hit me and see what sticks.
After at least an hour of that, I start with physical practice - reading can only go so far. However, it’s fine if I need to refer back to the book - it isn’t the test yet! The practice question I do are often from the book, but any practice the teacher hands out is first.
Finally, I look back at the homework assignments I’ve done and attempt the review guide (if there is one). At this point, the combination of book-reading and practice questions should prepare me to succeed in re-doing these assignments. After both the homework and review guides are done, I decide whether I’m all good or need to read the book once again.
It may not seem obvious at first, but this isn’t a schedule for cramming the night before - doing that never produced results, and so I span out my preparation almost a week ahead of unit exams, longer if it’s a final or AP test. In short, I recommend a healthy mix of reading and practicing at the beginning, so you can ask fellow classmates ahead of time about questions that may pop up. Then, after you have a good idea of what you’re doing this chapter, I’d look back through homework problems, re-do them, and end off with doing the review guide without a textbook in hand. This final piece requires no book because it’s the pre-test: you’ll know whether or not you need to repeat the process.
And that’s it! In short, my test prep is a simple process: read, practice, review, repeat (if necessary).

Matthew from Illinois
High School Senior
Buffalo Grove High School