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

My best test preparation practices are the ones that actively engage me. Because although reading the textbook is good for getting an introduction to the material, rereading it is a passive act that offers little return for the time put into it. Instead, I like to first make a set of detailed notes compiling everything from the textbook, in-class lectures, and study guides. Then, I'll reread this set and make a new set of notes containing everything I have not yet 100% committed to memory. I'll then take this new set and condense it again and again until I have a short page or two of notes that I can review quickly on the day of the test to refresh and invigorate my memory.

It is also extremely important for me to test myself and get an idea of what taking the test will feel like. If there is a practice exam or released older exams, I'll sit down and do a page of the exam, then check my answers with the solution guide, so that if I made any mistakes I can immediately catch and correct them. This insures that I do not make the same mistake on the rest of the test. If there is no practice exam, I can always go to textbook questions, look up practice questions for the desired subject on Google, or take my notes and put them on to a Quizlet flashcard set.

When I learn all the exam dates, I always go ahead and make note of them on a planner and a calendar. I try to start reviewing for an exam exactly a week before it starts. In the first few days of studying, I'll make my exhaustive note set. Then, I transition into condensing my notes. Finally, on the days immediately before the exam, I'll focus on practicing answering questions and quizzing myself. This process has worked really well for me, since it gives me the opportunity to first solidify the material into my mind and then strengthen the connections I've made to the material. Through practice questions, I really get the deeper understanding of what everything I have learned means and why it is important.

Emily from Georgia
High School Senior
North Oconee High School