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

I'm an over-thinker; traditional studying just doesn't work out for me. However, the study method that does work for me is being creative and finding new ways that are life-applicable to learn a subject. In addition to this, staying calm and collected before and during a test day is essential to earning a good score. So what exactly do I do? While I'm in class, I ask lots of questions and take notes (by hand) in a way that makes sense to me. When I get home, I start to color code the notes based on their importance and context to the subject. This really makes learning the material fun. To start studying, I try to dream up a scenario in which I can see people speaking vocabulary words or solving a concept I'm confused about. I would say that about 90% of the time, this works for me because I am a visual learner and what I'm learning has to have a connection to a real-life scenario for me to understand. Connectivity to life outside of school is the thing I value most in my education. If this method doesn't work, I try some studying or flashcard apps to keep me focused and learning, yet still entertained so that I don't get distracted. When test day (or week for larger test) finally comes, I keep my cool and only let myself think positive things. I tell myself that I will do well and, even if I do end up not getting the score I want, that I did my absolute best. I know that I understand the concept in my own terms, not the terms of anyone else. If I'm still not cheery, there's always the next test to do better on. Test prep is all about keeping a broad perspective and knowing what type of studying works for you.

Gabriela from Pennsylvania
High School Senior
Emmaus High School