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

There are people who use study guides before they take a test, and then there are people who make them. I attend Central Virginia Governor’s School for Science and Technology in Lynchburg, Virginia, a two-year STEM program. As someone who does not gravitate towards the STEM field, but rather gravitates towards a challenge, making study guides for my classmates has allowed me to keep A’s for all four semesters. For my Human Anatomy class, each test was made up of three to four chapters from our textbook, so after each chapter, I created study guides. These online guides would include vocabulary, key concepts, charts, pictures, and more all on a word document; and after I finished each one, I sent them to my classmates. There were twenty-eight chapters for the entire year, and so I made twenty-eight study guides. I found creating these far more helpful than re-reading my notes or reading from a textbook, because my classmates became dependent on my study guides before tests, and so they had to be finished on time and finished correctly. For my Calculus 1 & 2 class, there were four to five tests a semester, each holding a heavy percentage of our grade, and so I took great care with my math study guides. These guides were handwritten on sheets of printer paper with major topics and two to three examples for each topic, all color coordinated and made very neatly. Once finished, I would take a picture and email them to my classmates. I never expected anything in return, and never felt taken advantage of when my study guides were requested because it prepared me. I was able to look objectively at the material and break it down to organized and easily-digestible compartments, and I was able to answer my peers’ questions regarding the material when they asked. In a way, I became a second teacher to my friends and it became my responsibility to prepare them as well as prepare myself. And, in the end, I got 99 and 94 on my Anatomy and Calculus exams. :)

Kate from Virginia
High School Senior
E.C. Glass High School