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

For me, I like to go old-school and have minimal technology near me when I study. I think having a study guide out on the computer can be really tiring on the eyes and distracting.

I love using review books / class notes. To prepare for a big test, I use paper and colored pens to outline the content in them, writing just the term if I'm familiar with it, and the definition if I'm not. To me, certain words and topics have certain colors to them. For example, ecology would be green and biochemistry would be blue for an AP Bio study guide. I find writing the words itself instead of just staring at them a good way for them to be ingrained by muscle memory and I can often recall during the test the specific term by starting off and remembering the color it is.

If the test consists of a lot of memorization of terms, I would probably test myself on Quizlet to get those further ingrained in.
If the test consists of a lot of solving and deriving, I'd most likely spend more time practicing questions to test my skill since there's not as much to memorize and know word for word.

Then I generally take a set of review questions or practice tests to test my knowledge and write down the topics or terms I missed to go and review again, noting that those are my weaknesses.

And as they say, practice makes perfect-- if you run out of questions to practice with in the book, you can search them up online and print more out. I think that you could know all the content, but knowing the format of the test itself is really important because you know what they're asking and what you should be looking for in an answer.

I often also get really distracted at home because it's so comfortable. I think studying somewhere like a library or cafe can increase your productivity because there's nothing else for you to do but sit and study, and the people around you studying gives a good pressure for you to be doing the same. It's also a good place to teach friends and learn from it!

Ellen from New York
High School Senior
Bronx High School of Science