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

Quality over quantity is essential when beginning test prep. Of course, students should prepare for different types of tests in different ways. If they are taking a test for class, SAT subject test, or AP exam, the first step is utilizing class time. Most of us believe that slacking off and cramming for a test in the days before it is an acceptable strategy. This option is ESPECIALLY appealing during senior year! But one of my habits that I attribute the most to my success is starting early. Test prep for these types of exams starts on day one in class. Paying attention to lectures is studying. Asking questions after class is studying. Doing homework is studying. If a student is completely engaged in all aspects of the class, they are 80% done with their studying already.

I want to study smart. I am a firm believer that 30 minutes of studying can be better than hours upon hours of studying. When I study, I eliminate technological distractions from the environment. I put my phone away and only use my computer to look up things related to the content I am looking at. Distracted studying is ineffective studying. It is a waste of time to try to multi-task in this way.

Once the electronics are put away, I set goals for myself. Before I even begin, I make sure to understand what exactly I need to understand. I make sure to know which concepts will be tested, so I can maximize my time. I do not bother to study things that will not be tested, and focus my attention on topics that will be covered on the test. Then, I understand the why behind the concepts – not just memorization. This way, if I get stuck on a question, I can work through the problem instead of being stumped because I did not memorize a detail that I needed to know. The ultimate form of studying is truly understanding the material.

In conclusion, studying is putting in a little work everyday. The true reward is not necessarily a good grade or score, but true understanding of the material.

Morgan from California
High School Senior
Woodbridge High School