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

My test preparation practices have changed dramatically since the beginning of high school and I am sure they will continue to change throughout college. The first point, and arguable the most important, is that I had to realize that everyone is different. Don't get me wrong, I have always known that no two people are the same, but it never really hit me before that what works for me might not work for everyone else. I used to be the kid that never had to study and still made nearly perfect grades. Then I took my first college level class as a junior. This class challenged everything I thought I knew about test preparation. If I could sum all my test preparation skills into one thought, it would come to do not study the night before the test. Let me clarify, studying, in whatever form works best for the student, is something that should be done as material is learned, whereas reviewing is what should be done the night before the test. To elaborate on what my studying looks like, it begins with my favorite pens and a rather large piece of paper. I take my colorful pens and I begin writing down all the information I remember from class that day. I will then go back using a different color and correct anything I misremembered and add information I missed, using my notes. Every night I can continue to add to my paper until the chapter or unit is complete. In the end I am left with a concept map of what I do and do not know, to review before the test. Along with my concept map, I have various other test preparations that I mix and match depending on the subject. Sometimes memorization is necessary, so I make flash cards. Sometimes a topic doesn't click, so I will look for videos or articles that explain it differently than how I was taught. Sometimes I work practice problems or try explaining the curriculum to my parents or a friend. In summary, there is no clear cut way to prepare for a test, I simply try to find what works best for me.

Mazie from Virginia
High School Senior
Franklin County High School