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

For the purposes of this essay I will be referencing my math preparation cycle.The three phases of preparing for a math are ground zero, in which the test is announced, commitment, in which I prepare at home, and resurgence, in which I ask the teacher for clarification on any outstanding problem points.

Ground zero tends to happen in the middle of an otherwise unremarkable class, usually on Monday. I am blissfully taking notes as usual on the new concept when the teacher announces there is an upcoming test. Though I call this ground zero, it is the easiest phase because it does not require much immediate action. Taking notes is relatively relaxing as it helps me stay focused on the lesson and ensures I have material to reference later.

Usually the teacher has already distributed homework to prepare for the test. If there is time after the lecture ends I generally see how far I can get on the worksheet immediately. Waiting until I get home is usually unproductive because I have forgotten the intricacies of the new concept.

By the end of class, I pull up my planner and log the date of the upcoming test. An updated assignment list is invaluable when dealing with the workload of high school. It reduces stress because I no longer have to try to remember every assignment and activity. The planner can also help me prioritize work based on the deadline or simple [challenge level]

The commitment phase begins after school when I specifically spend time on the homework. After using my notes to job my memory, I try to finish the homework. Unfortunately I usually uncover some annoying edge case. I usually attempt a Google search to clear up the issue, but if that is not enough I just move on.

The resurgence phase is about clearing up those edge cases by asking the teacher. I have found time this is the most difficult phase, but also the most rewarding. I really enjoy finding out why my confusion was moot and how to avoid my mistake in the future.

Gregory from Texas
High School Senior
Plano ISD Academy High School