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

My first AP class was the fall of my junior year, I was not really sure what to expect from an AP course. At this point I have already taken a few honors classes and passed them, so I thought AP would be a breeze. I was so wrong. To kick off my junior year I started with AP US History. I signed up for the course because in past history classes you just had to memorize a few events and that was it. AP US History was way more than that: it was remembering events, knowing the causes of the event, understanding the effects, and seeing how and why it matters in US History. With APUSH you had to connect events to one another, give explanations to the events and understand them from multiple perspectives, unlike in other History classes where you could study a few flashcards. The amount of work was grueling and I spent all my time doing my homework. I would work nonstop from 4pm to 1am, yet every quiz/test I took, I didn’t pass. I started feeling groggy, I was getting sick, I felt depressed, and I was losing faith in myself. I think I was expecting for things to turn up by themselves and alas it took me a while to realize that I had to take matters into my own hands. It was time to adjust the way I was doing things. I started watching review videos before doing my homework, reading my notes to myself aloud, using flashcards when I could, and implementing other study methods that I found. I felt more confident with the content that I was covering and with my test scores having tiny improvements I started to feel more confident. Those improvements were all I needed to assure me that I had control over my grade. Even though this class gave me an immense amount of stress, I have no regrets taking it because of the struggle. Once I took responsibility, the struggle made me a better student and a more efficient worker. I passed the class with a C and I’m really proud of myself because it was not an easy class but still I persisted.

Kaitlin from California
High School Senior
Del Campo High School