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

There’s nothing like the nerves you get when an upcoming test is approaching. However, throughout the years, I have learned to ease my nerves by practicing new studying techniques that have helped me excel in academics. One of my favorite test preparation practices is creating a test for myself by using my class notes. I do this by summing up the important parts of the lecture or reading assignments and creating questions that I feel are important to know or I think might be asked on the test. By the time the test approaches, I have a myriad of questions to test myself with and I simultaneously make myself an answer sheet to go along with it. This strategy works for me because it allows me to process the information given to me instead of passively studying and not retaining any material. Once I complete the answer sheet, I print it out and can pull it out of my bag and have my friends quiz me. This way, I easily form a study group with others in my class and it usually results in efficient learning because I can talk through the questions that my friends might have and it further solidifies my understanding of the material. I have found that this method avoids the tendency of cramming for a test since it requires me to review my notes as I learn the material instead of trying to relearn everything days before the exam. If I find that I am having trouble with specific questions, I write them on post-it notes and stick it on my mirror so it forces me to review more often. The most important thing about this practice is that both the questions and answers are in my own words. This makes sure I understand the material enough to be able to explain it to someone else and make connections to previous concepts, instead of just relying on word-for-word memory. I have suggested this method to my peers and have received great feedback. This study technique has helped me gain confidence in myself while taking an exam and has dramatically reduced pre-test jitters.

Ashley from New York
High School Senior
Forest Hills High School