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

Proper studying practices have been a difficult skill for me to learn. I either studied too much and burned myself out or didn't study enough. Over the past few years, I have worked on developing study habits that work well for me.
I learned that if one wants to get as much out of their studies as possible, one needs to be in it for the long game. One quick study a night before a test is going to get you nowhere, so you need to be prepared to study regularly. I have found scheduling three to four days with two to three-hour study sessions to be helpful. It is important to remember to stay hydrated and take ten-minute breaks every thirty to forty minutes.
Notetaking is probably one of the most daunting aspects of studying. Most people struggle with knowing how to take notes efficiently and effectively. I always try to make it fun and engaging. So get lots of colored markers, pens or pencils, to keep yourself engaged and organized. Be sure to keep separate notebooks or a binder with divisions, so that you can keep your notes organized by subject.
When notetaking from a textbook, locate italicized or highlighted words or phrases, and take note of them. Keep a dictionary nearby so you can look up words you do not recognize and write them down. Say what you are writing out loud, because often hearing something helps us retain that information. Draw diagrams, pictures or doodles so that you can see the information. Try to use as many of your senses as possible.
Notetaking in a class is a more complicated as you are trying to not only pay attention to the lecture, but also write down information. With technology, this task has been made easier. Record a lecture on your smartphone to transfer to paper later. Pay attention to the whiteboard or screen relevant material will be written there. Be sure to write down any questions you may have during the lecture and the answers when found.
The most critical skill you need to study effectively is keeping a good and positive attitude. School is stressful, and for many test-taking is a debilitating task, so remaining positive is a difficult skill to acquire. Set reachable goals for yourself and give yourself prizes when reached. This keeps your spirits up and makes studying a more enjoyable task.

Brianna from New York
College Freshman