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

I am going to describe two main strategies I use when preparing for tests and a couple of strategies for very specific tests that have worked for me throughout high school. The two main strategies are primarily for tests given in academic classes. First, If you know that you have a test and have a week or more to prepare for the test, then spread out your studying over the course of the week(s) you have and really make sure that you understand every concept and topic that can be tested on. The day before the exam, make sure to skim through all your notes, refresh your brain on the concepts that you studied before, and make sure to get plenty of sleep. On the day of your test, do not panic over the exam and try to stay relatively calm. If you have less than a week to prepare for the exam, then I recommend dedicating a lot of time every day into studying for the test and cramming as much information as you can. Deeply understanding concepts will be much more difficult to do on this limited time, so memorizing as much information as possible would be your ultimate goal. Make sure to also get plenty of sleep on the night before the test, as you will be able to recall much more information on the test if you are well rested. If you are studying for an AP exam, I highly recommend that you purchase a prep book on the subject from Amazon. The Princeton Review, Barron's, and 5 Steps To A 5 are a couple of the businesses that release excellent prep books for AP exams. Make sure to look at the reviews for the book you are buying, as some of the books released by these businesses are better than the others, depending on the subject. Read the books over the course of a couple of weeks. The best way to prep for the SAT is to take the SAT again and again and get better and faster at taking it. The CollegeBoard has released their own prep book on Amazon that has 8 SATs that were administered many months ago. Take all of these practice tests, and correct all the mistakes you make.

Aria from California
High School Senior
University High School (Irvine Unified School District)