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

When in Rome, do as the Greeks Do

As a homeschooled 8th grader in the midst of frustration, I hunched over my Algebra II book. My online lesson explained what resembled a lesson in ancient Greek. The numbers and equations simply jumbled together into a gross soup inside my brain. Frustrated, I attempted practice problems. Simplifying the equation was doable, but then I was stuck. I rewinded my lesson in small sections. Soon enough, I completed the page of problems. After a few, I stopped relying on my lesson. This fateful afternoon marked the turning point in my studies. I discovered how I retain information: start with a problem.

This method followed me throughout my 10th grade transition into public school. These classrooms were was far from my normal. I was accustomed to a Socratic learning. Amidst the transitional stress, I struggled to learn through plain notes. On one Autumn day, I sat squinting at the board during math class. The numbers grew distant. I was reminded of my middle school academic frustration. I questioned myself before my next lesson. I skimmed the textbook and asked questions that could be answered by my teacher’s lecture. My test grades skyrocketed. I excelled in a new environment by utilizing my homeschool skills.

As senior, I will continue this method to prepare for AP exams. I assess what I don’t understand. By writing down specific questions about the material, I can focus on these concepts during review. My journey taught me learning is subjective. There is not an ultimate method to studying. If I could tell any student preparing for a test a piece of advice, I would tell them to remember what works. College is not far away, so it is important to stay true to their personal approach while also adapting to a new environment. This journey won’t be easy. Hardships will occur. That's okay. After all, Socrates didn’t revolutionize modern philosophy by giving up!

Caroline from North Carolina
High School Senior
Northern Guildford High School