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

A study of the nation’s largest urban school districts states that a student takes an average of 112 mandated tests between pre-kindergarten and 12th grade. I just completed my first year in college, and you would think I would be an expert test-taker by now. Well, despite the number of exams and quizzes I have taken, I still get nervous, as are many people my age. One of the helpful things I do before every test is taking the last night before the test off from studying to prevent my brain from tiring out.
For many students, the biggest obstacle in taking a test isn’t how much material they know, but the anxiety they feel. An important factor in one’s performance on a test is their mindset going into the testing center. Sure, preparedness and knowledge in the material are important, but the emotional state of the tester that can determine how well they are able to apply the knowledge they studied.
Test anxiety often stems from worried thoughts about the possibility of failure. Students’ self-esteem is threatened by certain academic contexts such as important tests. Test anxiety is associated with negative cognitive self-statements regarding failure, as well as fear to be negatively judged by teachers, parents, and others. As a student who attended school in South Korea for about four years, I experienced an intense level of this fear first-hand. The feeling isn’t uncommon in Korea, where education is one of the most emphasized aspects of society. The emphasis isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes to the pressure students feel from parents and teachers to excel in their learning, it can be suffocating and unhealthy. To prevent burnout in studying or a negative attitude underlying learning, test preparation methods that alleviate stress are crucial. Allowing your brain to rest the night before a test can clear the mind and minimize anxiety, providing free rein to effectively utilize the prepared knowledge in taking a test.

Yunseo (Linda) from Pennsylvania
College Freshman
University of Pittsburgh