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

I have been a successful test taker throughout high school and now in college. In high school I earned a 5.01 GPA and scored 1430 on the SAT test. I am now a freshman at Boston University and earned a 3.78 GPA my first semester in the Biology/pre-med program.
The first thing I do in order to study for a difficult exam is to take extensive notes in class and then rewrite the notes later and create a color coded outline of the material, with most important items highlighted in red. I then make note cards with any important formulas that are needed for calculations. I review the notes until I have committed them to memory. For extremely difficult exams, ie) BU Chemistry exams, I also watch videos of the lectures that I attended while going over my notes-it is a very productive way to review the content and to pick up on what the professor might emphasize since he or she is the one writing the exam. I have also found that I relate to some professors' teaching styles better than others. When I feel confused or overwhelmed with material, I go and sit in on a different professor's class to hear it presented a different way. I have also utilized tutors and professor's office hours to review problems and prepare for tests.
When I took the standardized tests in high school ie) SAT's, I was able to increase my math score by 200 points. The first time I took it I admit that I did not study. I then put my mind to cracking the math SAT. I obtained an SAT review book and went through each section and made notecards of all the formulas that were needed to solve the problems. I practiced problems from each section until I understood them all. Then I started doing the practice exams with a timer so that it would mimic the conditions of actually taking the test. When I took the test I was able to improve my score from 500's to 760!
The key to taking an important exam is preparation. If you put in the time to be fully prepared you will feel confident on the day of the exam.

Michael from Massachusetts
College Freshman
Boston University