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

We are told over and over not to procrastinate, but, we are never fully told what that means. How do we predict how much we need to study? How much time will it take? The only way that I feel properly prepared for a test is if I have already answered these essential questions before the test date has even been announced. Every week, I set aside fifteen minutes for each of my classes to review my notes and record anything that I believe the teacher might use as an exam question. Then, when the test is approaching, I already have an idea of how much content it will be covering and how well I understand it.
Of course, in order for this process to be effective, I must have thorough notes. While I write the majority of my notes from lectures and textbook chapters in black pen, more important information is written in color so that it stands out on the page and, as science has proven, is easier to remember. In my math notebook, for example, important equations are in red, definitions in orange, theorems and proofs in purple, and critical facts are in blue. Essentially, notes have to not only be neat and organized, but they must be arranged so that the important information the most noticeable. This system makes it far easier and faster to review them.
Then, when the exam date approaches, I begin by making a list of all of the topics that will be covered. Using this list, I decide how comfortable I am with the topic and assign myself 1-7 problems to do related to that topic. The more that I need to review the concept, the more practice problems I must do.
This, obviously, is time-consuming. On the occasions that I do not have the time or have completed this studying in advance, I try to organize a group review session within my class. Not only do I get topics that I am unsure about explained, but it is also immeasurably beneficial to attempt to explain each subject to others. When I am able to teach someone else the concent clearly, I know that I am ready for the exam.

Charlotte from Maine
High School Senior
Maine School of Science and Mathematics