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

As an intern for a test preparation service that I formerly utilized for the ACT, PSAT, and Pennsylvania Keystone tests, I feel that I am a fairly strong student when it comes to studying. Therefore, I am a strong test taker.

The first action I take when it comes to preparing for any test is studying ahead of time. When I took my first AP exam, I prepared starting on the first day of classes. After I took notes, I went over them at home. I did so religiously for the entire month.

After the first month or so, however, it can get harder to motivate oneself. Therefore, I decided to slow down and study my notes at the end of every week. When the week before the test arrived, I allotted time to study each day for about an hour (with breaks).

Regularly, I study for no more than half an hour a day with a five minute break in between. I learned this method in a course I took at the University of Pennsylvania. There, we went through a variety of study routines, and the one that stuck was the Pomodoro Technique (also known as the Tomato Timer).

I adopted this study habit about two years ago, and it never fails to help me stay concentrated and motivated. Another part of test preparation that keeps me motivated is taking time to place sticky notes with funny or inspirational messages randomly in my textbook or notebook. From there, once I find it, I am excited to find the next one.

Each of these practices work for me because I do them consistently. Of all the information I gathered from my time in grade school, the piece of information I am happy to have learned is that consistency is a surefire way to achieve your goal, whether it be getting an A on the test or getting a full ride to college. This is why I continue these study habits, not only because I feel accomplished with the results, but because I am constantly developing my determination and diligence.

Kelsey from Pennsylvania
High School Senior
Northeast High School