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

With memorization as a key piece of most high school tests, I have developed a system that allows me to retain the information as best as possible. First, I write down all of the key terms and/or book quotations I need to have memorized onto a lined sheet of paper. I then rewrite this list in an order that is organized alphabetically or in the form of an acronym. Personally, I find numbers to be easier to memorize than letters, so I will arrange the acronym or alphabetized into distinct group sizes. I could have seven groups of terms associated in some way with the first letter of each term forming the acronym (for example: SINCERE) and then only need to memorize the number of terms in each group (for example: 1,3,2,3,7,5,1). Finally, I repeat this information in my head or aloud repeatedly to the same beat. To memorize the example I gave, here is what I would repeat: "Sincere. ONE-three-TWO-three-SEVEN-FIVE-one. Sincere." On the test, I would write this information on the paper vertically so that the acronym and the number sequence align (S=1, I=3, N=2, etc.). I would then know that the first group of like terms starts with "S" with only one term, the second group starts with "I" and has three terms, and so on. This method and variations of it have worked for me in the past, especially because it allows me to know how many terms I have forgotten or missed when I get to the test.

Marcus from Washington
High School Senior
Sumner High School