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

As a student, you often get frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do and tests you have to study for. I know that I was always beating myself up for not being able to focus and do well on tests. I soon realized that I'm not the student that can sit down for hours and mechanically memorize information. If I sit too long, I get antsy. If I couldn't figure a question out, I would get frustrated. If I don't understand, I would get discouraged. Some time around my sophomore year I got so frustrated that I just gave up. I didn't study at all, I just gave up. As expected, I flunked that test. My teacher ended up noticing and pulled me in after class. She was one of my favorite teachers so I was a little scared to disappoint her, but she just wanted to help. She smiled at me as always and asked me lightheartedly what had happened with my test. I admitted that I can't focus while studying and I never felt like I could understand it. She basically sat down with me for an hour and excused me from my next period (it was just a study hall) as we figured out what I could do. She ended up teaching me a method I use every time I take a test. I make a list of all the possible facts or words that I find interesting and I make them into flashcards or a story. The story tends to help me remember better because I love to read and for some reason it just works with me. I use this method for social studies classes, english, and science. In the stories I animate words or objects and give them a storyline based around what other information that's vital to know. This works amazing for me because as I said, I'm a big reader and will stay engaged if it's something that I'm interested in and draws my attention.

Ella from Utah
High School Senior
Juan Diego Catholic High School