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

The past four years of high school, I have failed, revised, and succeeded at establishing a perfect test preparation. Beginning of freshman year, I had no idea how to study, my teachers never really explained how to prepare for a test. Sure, they gave us tons of material on what could be on the test, but there were no promises with anything. Organization, memorization, it was all up to us. We have to cram information into our brains, use it for an hour, and then immediately forget about it after. How do I do that? is what I asked myself for a long time. Freshman year was really a trial and error situation for developing strong studying habits. Eventually, I gave up on studying and decided to wing every test. That choice formed a lot of concern from my father. Sophomore year I began to try studying again and putting more effort, and saw better results, but still confused when I received bad grades from tests I studied hours for. Junior year is when I really buckled down because it is the most important and hardest year of high school. This is when I developed the best study habits/preparations and created a list for incoming freshman so they don't make the same mistakes I did:
1. Organize Your Study Space- Not having enough space for textbook, notes, computer, etc. made me stressed and uncomfortable, eventually giving up.
2. Writing flash cards- Most of the time writing out everything and having it in my hand made it easier to learn and remember.
3. Practice Exams- Use old practice exams teachers give you, it's almost always the same format. Ask your teachers if they can look for/make one if it is not provided initially.
4. Take Brain Breaks- It's easy to get into the groove of studying once you start, but you will perform better if your brain is not overworked.
5. Plan Ahead- It's normal to ignore teachers when they say "don't wait to the night before to study" but they aren't saying this to annoy you, review a few days before every night for 30 minutes.

Rebekah from Michigan
High School Senior
forest hills central high school