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

Run. Run from the idea that there is only one amazing method of preparing for tests. Every test plays by its own rules. Knowing how to adapt your study style is much more important than having one great method of studying. You should not expect the preparation for a biology exam to be the same as the preparation for a history mid-term.

Since every exam is different, success is created by understanding how the exam is set up. When I study for an exam or test, I don’t just open the textbook and start reading. As a high-school senior I know better than to blindly stuff random information into my brain. Instead of cramming textbook knowledge I read the exam information presented by the instructor. What does the syllabus mention about the exam? Is there a study guide? What specific chapters and concepts will the test be on? These questions should be asked before you ever open the textbook and start studying.

However, you do need to open the textbook. Some classes like history or biology, have fairly easy tests where you just need to remember key terms. When I have to remember terms or definitions, flashcards are the path to take. For courses that involve math and problem solving, writing a collection of formulas on a paper is very helpful. Do practice problems until you feel comfortable with your material. That way, you won’t be surprised by a difficult problem on the test. These methods have worked nicely for me, but I would not recommend them to everyone. Why? Because you have your own way of learning. Not everyone learns the same way. You can certainly try making flashcards like I have. You can try writing a sheet of formulas and doing practice problems. But do not use these methods if they don’t work for you. Find your own creative side and make the test studying yours.

I wish I could go back in time and tell myself what I have told you in this essay. You are unique. So are tests. If you understand yourself and understand the test, you can study for anything.

Michael from Minnesota
High School Senior
Home school