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

Studying is an art form. A delicate balance of self-enhancement and a waste of time. In this balance weighs choice. The choice to either commit oneself to soaking in the desired information or to simply absorb what is necessary at the surface. As a high school student, it is tempting to perform the latter for each exam or quiz. To cram the night before and pray the material sticks. However, this overloads a student's short term memory which is a shaky tool at best. I realized a while ago that I truly know the information taught in classrooms when I take the time and effort to commit it to my long term memory. This requires a different mind set than most high school students are accustomed to. It's not about cracking the code or cheating the system. It is about connecting meaning with new material. Creating original thoughts to tie the new to the old, the known to the unknown. When I study for exams in history or psychology courses I often focus on individuals and names. I do this in order to envision people and make sense of their actions or their reason for importance in said field. If I can pick up on exactly why Carl Jung is a renowned psychologist for his theories on the collective unconscious and his differences from Freud than I actually know these factoids rather than feigning knowledge. My methods for STEM courses are slightly different. For mathematics I tend to mark up my notes and reviews by literally writing out how to work through each problem. Equation by equation, line by line, I begin to see a pattern and new meaning is derived. I understand exactly why certain equations are structured like they are and why some do not apply. In science courses, I perform a similar task by working through problems and writing down my entire thought process to solve it. It seems to consolidate my thoughts and weed out unnecessary confusion. Every person learns differently, but over the past four years these methods have served me well and I feel secure in my education

Sophia from Kansas
High School Senior
Olathe East High School