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

Growing up, tests have played a large part in my life whether it was a spelling test or a state test. I realized early on that these scores determined how I was perceived within my peers and sometimes my teachers such as whether I would be on the honor roll or be the first pick in a group project, so I was determined to do well. After years of preparing for these tests and going through different study methods, I landed on my perfect one: chewing Wintermint-flavored 5 gum and rewriting my notes in Cornell notes format.
I chose Wintermint 5 gum, not because it’s my favorite, but because it provides a feeling of stability which relaxes me. Placed in my pencil case, I can always look forward to chewing gum during the day since it keeps me focused. Chewing gum has also been proven to enhance cognitive functions especially when it comes to learning and I stand by this. When chewing gum, I feel more focused and ready to learn, especially when it comes to note-taking.
Cornell notes were something I was introduced to in my 7th-grade humanities class. At first, I believed it was a tedious method in note-taking as there were many components with it: the vocabulary, the topics, the notes, the summary! “This is too much work for notes!” I thought to myself. Even though I hated the work that I put into it since it was tedious, I found it beneficial as my retention of facts because of the way the notes were organized. As everything is organized with questions on the left column and the answers to the questions on the right column. It made it easier for me to study based on specific topics or ideas. Also, the summary at the end of each set of Cornell notes allows me to jot down anything that I’ve learned that stuck out to me or sums up my lessons.
Overall, even though there are many other different study methods, I found that chewing Wintermint-flavored 5 gum and rewriting my notes in Cornell notes format has kept me focused and engaged in what I’d be learning in my classes.

Veronica from New York
High School Senior
Brooklyn Technical High School