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

During my time in high school, I have challenged myself by taking the full IB Diploma which is one of the most difficult pathways a high school student can take. As a freshman and sophomore tests came easy to me. Before any subject test I would simply go over the content and be ready for the test the next day. I was in for a rude awakening entering my junior year, the difference in difficulty in the courses was overwhelming. I needed to change my ways of studying.
The secret to being successful on tests and retaining knowledge was to start preparing 1-2 weeks prior to the exam. For example, for me biology proved to be my most difficult class, as it requires you to memorize lots of content. My teacher before starting the new unit would lay out the schedule for that unit. Having knowledge of when the test is was crucial for my technique. Two weeks prior to the unit, I would reteach myself the unit, going over the book for 15 minutes a day and taking notes on each section in my biology notebook. By reteaching yourself the curriculum, you can catch stuff that you may have missed during the initial learning process. Chipping away little by little you are adding this knowledge into your long term memory instead of short term. Three days before the test are the most crucial days of studying, I use the note card tactic. Three days before the test, I go over the content for a third time, but this time instead of taking notes in a journal, you have a 3 x 5 note card which you will place all that knowledge onto. What I put on my note card is the key points from each section or the stuff I feel not confident about.
Why this method works for me is when you take the time to relearn the content my brain holds onto the knowledge instead of forgetting key things and try to cram everything in one night. You are actually learning rather than memorizing. The note card is helpful because you are enforcing the key elements in the unit and reflecting on your weaknesses.

Toan from Washington
High School Senior
Chief Sealth International High School