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

When I was in the 8th grade, I started taking Spanish through my high school as a second language. At first, the concept of speaking, writing, and interpreting another language was very difficult to me, but there were a few things that got me through.
The first was a piece of advice that my mother told me. Since she's multilingual, she told me that in order to learn another language you need to learn how to train yourself to think in that language. While I thought she was crazy, I tried it, and it really works! By forcing yourself to think in another language other than your own, you're making your mind go back and retrieve information that you may have forgotten (such as vocabulary and grammar). This also forces your mind to slow down and process what you're trying to say, which in time makes it easier to fluently speak.
Another tactic that works very well for memorizing vocabulary is through songs. Again, while this might seem cheesy, it really works. Adding a tune to the vocabulary you're trying to memorize helps get the words stuck in your head, therefore making you remember them better. Furthermore, if you since along to the song, you're practicing your pronunciation.
What's been most helpful to me by far when it comes to studying another language is keeping a daily journal. A useful practice is to write in that journal every night about the things that happened to you during the day, what you ate, and how you feel about things. Not only does this help your practice and memorize your vocabulary and grammar rules, but it also helps you notice which words and phrases you use often. This is extremely helpful if you're trying to learn how to speak in another language on a day-to-day basis. When you get into the practice of describing what happened during your day, what's happening in the current moment, and what your plans are for tomorrow, you're conditioning yourself to think in that language and also memorize useful vocabulary that you'l use often.

Anna from Washington
High School Senior
Woodinville High School