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

I've found that good test preparation plays a key role in excelling on a test in any subject. There are a few strategies I always use to ensure the best score that I can possibly make. To begin with, I take practice tests similar to the test I know I'll be taking. For instance, I used released exams from the CollegeBoard website to prepare for the AP exams I had to take in May. By taking timed practice tests, I was able to experience what taking the real test would be like under a similar time constraint, and I also learned my strengths and weaknesses. The more you practice for an exam, the more likely you will do well on it, so I recommend taking them at least 3 times in order to maximize your familiarity with the material. In addition to this, I've discovered that acquainting yourself with the vocabulary expected to be used on the test can be useful. Standardized tests such as the ACT and the SAT have lists of the most frequently used vocabulary words online, and these are great to study. I would make flashcards of the 100 most common words and memorize them in advance to taking the test. By doing this, I made myself aware of the language of the test and knew what I was being asked to do which resulted in me doing better than I would have without this strategy. However, my most important test preparation practice is often overlooked: taking a break. Students frequently study for hours straight studying for a test, sometimes even staying up all night. This is extremely ineffective as it keeps them from retaining information they study, and a lack of sleep can cause them to do worse overall. By taking a short break every hour, I stay motivated when studying, and I don't end up needing to stay up late. With this said, if you use great test preparation practices such as taking practice tests and familiarizing yourself with test vocabulary, I am confident that you can do well on any exam.

Ember from Georgia
High School Senior
Model High School