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

Over the years my test preparation skills have improved because attending an early college high school gets overwhelming at times. Taking high school classes and college classes at the same time means that it is possible to have several tests in one day. I have learned to effectively prepare myself by taking good sketch notes in class, studying in parts and ahead of time, creating flashcards, and the most recent one is drinking orange juice while I study. These are the skills that I have used to prepare for a test, and I must say they have been successful.
The most important thing to be successful in a class is to take good notes. This is very important because by writing you can grasp and understand the information better rather than by simply listening to the teacher. However, everybody has different note taking skills, I prefer sketch notes. The reason why I prefer sketch notes is because I have fun with them and I like to use different colored pens while drawing pictures that connect to what I am learning. I like to keep myself organized with my notes by making sure that I keep them all by date and class. This way when I study I know that I will have all of the information learned in class. Taking notes makes me understand the subject, and I usually go home and talk to my family about it. When I talk to others about what I have learned, I am practically studying it. This helps me practice the material and have knowledge about it. It is very important to know the material and not just memorize it, because it will be easier to take a test on something that you understand very well.
It is also very important to study in parts and ahead of time to not feel stressed the day of a test. I like to study at least five days ahead of a test. This helps me because I divide the information that I need to learn to understand it better and practice it. If you try to study three chapters the night before a test it will be almost impossible to memorize everything, specially if you do not understand the material. It is also better to give yourself time to study so that you will feel positive about a test rather than stressed and paranoid. When a person goes into a test stressed, it causes insecurity which means that most likely the person will not do so good because they are trying to cram a lot of information at the same time. This has helped me because I have noticed that when I prepare myself for a test I go in there feeling confident and I do good.
The way I organize the information that I am trying to study is by creating flashcards. I like to write down the terms and definitions that will be in my test. I think flashcards are very accessible because it is easy to take them with you everywhere. I always carry them with me in my purse to look over them when I am at work, during lunch, or whenever I have free time. This is a skill that has helped me because it helps me practice ahead of time and I do it when I have time. It is very common for students to say that they do not have time to study, however making flashcards makes studying very easy because we have a lot of free time without noticing it. The fact that I have the flashcards ready to study makes it easy to pull them out to look over them, even if it is ten minutes.
The most recent test preparation that I learned is to drink orange juice when I study. I learned drinking orange juice helps retain information because it as potassium. This is vital to the brain function because it helps people understand information. Potassium helps because it is an electrically charged particle, which is found mostly inside your cells. The fact that it is an electrically charged particle helps by pushing electrical or neural impulses along your nerves to your brain. This exchange of potassium and sodium is known as the sodium-potassium pump and is necessary for your nerves and muscles work properly. This means that drinking coffee during finals week is the worst idea because caffeine will not help a person retain information like potassium will.
Overall, preparing for a test can be very stressful and draining. However, preparing yourself for an exam will make testing way easier. Everybody learns in different ways, therefore it is important to find what works good for each person. I am a mom, high school student, full time college student, and I work. Despite that I make sure that my grades stay high and that I do my best in my tests. This means that being a successful student is possible, it just takes hard work and dedication.

Evelyn from Texas
High School Senior
valle verde early college high school