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

I am rarely more elated than when I see a grade of 100 percent written at the top of a test that I have just taken. Similarly, I am rarely more upset than when a corrected test paper returns to me bearing a poor grade. Consequently, I make sure that I am well prepared for my tests before I take them.
I usually begin studying for a test by opening my textbook to the chapter to which my upcoming test pertains and reviewing it from beginning to end. I skim the pages, recalling the information in each paragraph and reminding myself of each of the concepts. This works for me because it prepares me for almost all of the possible questions that might appear on the test. If I only study those concepts that I predict will appear on the test, I am sometimes completely unprepared for certain questions that I had not anticipated. For this reason, I review the entire chapter before I take a test on it, and doing this has helped improve my test grades.
During my review of the chapter, I often keep a piece of paper and a pen nearby and write down those things from the chapter—formulas, definitions, lists, etc.—that I feel need to be more secure in my memory. I review those things several times before the test to make sure that I can remember them. If something is particularly difficult to remember, such as a complex formula with many variables, I solidify it in my mind by writing and reciting it several times. This works for me because I learn best by repetition, and the more I repeat anything, the better it stays in my memory.
Although these methods do not prevent all testing mistakes, they greatly reduce my chances of missing questions. By using these techniques, I find that I am usually well prepared for tests and can achieve much better grades.

Katherine from Arizona
High School Senior