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

To be an athlete, you need a sense of competitiveness. That edge that drives you to succeed and reach your goals. But for me, that didn’t translate well academically. Throughout high school, I’ve struggled to find motivation to study and remember the curriculum, but I could tell you exactly how many points I scored in any random basketball game. It wasn’t until I used online games and teamwork activities when I really saw improvements in my grades and study habits. Kahoot, Quizlet, and Quizizz became my best friends. Online games have provided me with more visual learning, made studying more exciting, and allowed me to narrow down troublesome topics to review. These games not only help test my knowledge and give me feedback, but they give time limits and restrict notes to parallel a real test. “Alice has just beat your score in Quizlet! Play now to take back your spot”. These notifications always sparked the competitiveness in me and motivated me to study more often and harder. Online games have been a perfect resource for me when studying alone, but I’ve also loved teamwork and studying with others. After many unproductive study sessions, my classmates and I decided to create a real life game called “Pretend Teacher”. This game simulates a mock classroom setting with a “teacher” who is explaining a task to a group of “students”. The teachers create mock powerpoints, practice tests, or even perform experiments for students to observe and participate in. The goal of this is to not only help the mock teachers to explain the subject more thoroughly and feel confident in their skills, but it also helps the classmates see the topic from a new point of view and get a better understanding. This allows information to become more memorable and personal, and keeps you accountable for your share in the group. All in all, competitive games and teamwork activities have helped me to change my outlook of studying from boring and tedious, to exciting, encouraging, and even fun.

Macy from Illinois
High School Senior
Buffalo Grove High School