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

Stacks of index cards lay in stacks around my legs. I sit criss-cross on the floor with my diffuser emitting oils around me. The cleaner it looks, the more prepared I feel. I have severe test anxiety, but I have found a way to wrangle the monster: I just have to convince him that I have it together. Although some people study well in groups or by reading, I know that to master material, I require perfectly cut rectangular pieces of paper that are color coded with information. My pen must write smoothly, so the letters are ingrained on the paper and in my mind. During the test, if I freeze, all it takes is a moment of closed eyes and a flash of color as a reminder of the words that flowed so easily on the card. Instead of panicking, I remember. My brain pieces the larger story together, as if each card is a single piece to the jigsaw puzzle of the chapters I am speeding through. As the cards stack up, so does my confidence. I take the material in bite size pieces. My overwhelmed brain believes the lies that I feed it. As I master one card, I set it aside and move on to the next. Soon, the pile of mastery sits high as a mountain top. I reach the top triumphantly and stare at the view below, knowing that | have found the secret to sneaking knowledge in, step by step.

Samantha from Oklahoma
High School Senior
Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics