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

The best test preparation that I know of and use any time an assessment approaches is to simply, as the saying goes, "practice practice practice." While for many, studying involves burying themselves inside of a textbook and trying to retain the knowledge within by reading words on a page alone, that has never worked for me. My attention span has always been too short to be able to do so. For me, the best way to study and absorb knowledge to utilize during a test is to drill the knowledge into my head through practicing the material. I believe that the most effective way that one can truly learn something is to first fail at it. For me, this means drilling myself with practice question after practice question and flashcard after flashcard. I have found that getting a question wrong and subsequently looking at why I got it wrong and seeing the correct method that would make it correct is infinitely more effective than simply reading pages upon pages of textbooks. Before math tests, I drill practice problems like there's no tomorrow to truly nail down the subject until I fully understand and can no longer incorrectly solve a problem. For other subjects, flashcards (both physical and virtual) are my absolute best friend. While it is satisfying to turn over a flashcard and know that I had the answer correct, there is an equivalent rush in turning over a wrong answer. Knowing that I don't know something while studying is infinitely more effective than being in the middle of a test and realizing you don't know it then. With drilling myself with practice problems and flashcards, I can catch lapses in my knowledge before test day when it truly matters.

Dylan from Virginia
High School Senior
Northside High School