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

Traditionally, teachers advocate for students to organize their notes logically. This often entails that the notes follow each other chronologically, with different subjects written in different notebooks. So although this idea sounds ludicrous compared to established customs, hear me out. I suggest that students write all the notes for every subject into a single notebook. Psychology has shown that by studying different subjects together, you retain more information about each topic. The idea is that because you have to focus on topics that are often unrelated to each other, your brain works worker to differentiate the topics by understanding the concepts better. Amidst so much “noisy” information, your brain draws more meaningful connections between ideas, which can be helpful on tests where questions can often be filled with meaningless information meant to distract you. Additionally, you might find interesting interdisciplinary ideas between history and biology that you would have never noticed if you studied each subject separately. Because you created this connection yourself, you will remember those ideas from both subjects better. This method also combats a lazy habit of students such as myself to only study for a subject exam a few days before. Since all your notes are found in one place, students will, at the very least, be forced to review notes from other subjects. Refreshing ideas that were recently taught in class helps solidify them in your brain. A little bit of studying every day builds up to a greater retention rate of the information, eliminating the need to cram everything into the night before. Our brains cannot remember the entire curriculum the day before. It is better to rest early than to maximize your preparation for the exam.

Ricky from New York
High School Senior
Stuyvesant High School