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

When studying for a particular unit, I usually read the corresponding chapter in full. This works particularly well for classes based on memorization or classification, because the material including the details are absorbed in depth. If I can remember the details, I can remember the main points. Also, rather than hearing the material in which I might not catch everything (if the teacher talks too fast, also I can’t take notes on everything), I’ve thought every word I’ve read in the textbook. For review, YouTube videos or the use of flashcards works miracles. I already have a basis for the material, now it’s just a matter of ingraining the most prominent details. Regarding multiple choice, psychology shows that recognition is stronger than recall. If I can simply recognize the material, I get the question right.
For some classes, this is good enough, but in others I have to take good notes in an organized binder that keeps the papers in order. This has been a given for all of my STEM classes. It’s hard to read a math textbook, and probably not necessary, so I don’t. It’s more pragmatic to spend that time practicing. Here notes are good enough because you’re not here to memorize. You’re here to apply and logically deduce by a method. Copy down the method, and how to use it, and you’re set. If you can understand how it works even better (as I get higher up in math, sometimes it’s not worth knowing how it works, you just trust it. Be able to differentiate what’s worth understanding). YouTube is sometimes useful; I can get the same results by the way it teaches, but the approach may be slightly if not totally different. Teachers sometimes don’t like this because they can’t be sure you understand it the proper way. Even then, this is definitely not enough. Maths and sciences require lots of practice to be able to understand and repeat the process. For my AP Chemistry class last year, I had to do about 30 questions per chapter or more. If I did them, I had success.

Neelie from Michigan
High School Senior
Troy High School