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

Test prep is just as much about knowing the test as it is about knowing the material. Don’t get me wrong — understanding the content is very important — but being able to work well with the format of an exam can easily turn mediocre performances into solid test grades with minimal extra time spent preparing.
For example, if a test is largely multiple choice (MC) and I know how much time I’ll have, I can budget my time per question as I work through, and skip/star questions to come back to, instead of wasting time early on and then rushing at the end. Proper time management is important simply because being rushed can often lead to mistakes that no amount of studying could prevent: slapdash choices and quasi-guesses made in the final minutes before the end of the exam.
An MC exam means I also know a bit more about how to focus my studying. MC exams often test matching terms to their definitions, so knowing those ahead of time helps me quickly knock out simple definition MC questions. On the other hand, a test format more focused on written response may allow me more leeway with how well I know my terms and definitions, letting me focus instead on understanding the ideas that are being tested on a conceptual level. This usually takes precedence over rote memorization, and using web resources like KhanAcademy and their accompanying practice tests often helps reinforce my understanding by providing alternative explanations to those I get in class.
Though online resources can help with concepts, teacher-made study guides are especially useful because they often contain the content your instructor is most likely to test you on. Likewise, practice problems acclimatize you to the methods and angles of attack you will need the most on upcoming tests. If your teacher doesn’t offer practice problems, keeping and reviewing quizzes from earlier in the term is often useful as well, as teachers frequently reuse question formats/topics from smaller quizzes on their final tests.

Chase from Maryland
High School Senior
Mt. Hebron High School