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

I tend to put a lot of effort in to understand certain topics, but my methods work nonetheless. I have two separate notebooks for each subject at school: one for taking notes in class and the other for rewriting the notes at another time. In class when I take notes, I make them messy and write all over the margins to ensure that all the information discussed in class is on the page. Then at a later time, either when I get home, have free time, or before a test, I rewrite the notes in other notebook neatly. I find that rewriting notes, preferably in a blue pen, helps me retain the information better. Therefore, these rewritten notes are the ones I review before a test. Additionally, I watch YouTube videos regarding the topic the night before a test. The combination of rewriting notes, reviewing the notes, and watching and listening to someone else teaching the topic assists in remembering it. When reviewing vocabulary words, like most people I write out index cards and review the words that way, separating out the terms I know from the ones that I need to focus more time on. I also associate words and terms I am not familiar with with acronyms or random word associations (Samuel Champlain: Champlain starts with "ch" and so does chipmunk, chipmunks have fur, therefore Samuel Champlain founded the first fur trading post in Quebec). I use this method for subjects like history, english, world language, and science. Many people I know use digital sources of index cards and note-taking but I find that physically writing out the information helps me retain the information. For math subjects, I do the same note-taking method but I look for practice problems to complete on top of the notes taken in class. With math, the more problems you complete, the better you become. It took me a few years to establish a test preparation method that efficiently works for me but in the end it was completely worth it.

Chloë from New Jersey
High School Senior
Howell High School