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

Tests are a part of life everyone has to experience. While they can be stressful, the best way to do well is facing them head-on. Before every test I take, I have a set of steps I go through to determine the best way to study.

First, I determine what kind of test I'm about to take. Some subjects, like a foreign language, are heavy on memorization. These kinds of tests require a very different type of preparation than problem-based subjects like math.

The second thing I do is look for pre-existing resources. The less time I have to spend making my own study materials, the more time I can spend actually studying. Plus, there are a lot of companies selling test preparation materials made by experts. For example, standardized tests have a ton of resources online like practice tests, or even entire books available for purchase. These are really helpful because they tackle the essential topics necessary for the exam, and have a lot of data to back up their effectiveness.

Next, if I can't find any pre-existing material, I start getting creative. For memorization-heavy tests, I like to make virtual flashcards using websites like Quizlet. They offer a lot of customization where you can tailor your study session to the subject and have games that are helpful in learning and memorizing content. Another really helpful tool that not many other students use is writing a song or parody. I really like singing, so I can remember a song a lot easier than any other paragraph. As a result, putting vocab to the tune of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley or another catchy song really keeps the knowledge locked in!

If the test is practice-based, I just do a lot of practice problems. Most practice-based classes I've had in school get their problems from textbooks, and they are a great resource. Usually, there will be pages and pages of problems my teacher hasn't assigned that I can use. Also, the book will usually have answers so I can get instant feedback.

Drake from Ohio
High School Senior
Brunswick High School