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

When my school first announced it was closing due to COVID-19 around mid-March, it was easy to assume this was a short-term anomaly and everything would be back to normal soon. But now it is clear the “new normal” for studying is at home for the foreseeable future. Consequently, I had to adjust the way I prepared for my academics.
First, I quickly learned that having a structured study schedule is important. For instance, I would schedule time slots, via Outlook, to study for a subject, take breaks, do stretches, eat snacks and meals, and test preparation. The meeting reminder helps me to stay on track with proper time management while juggling test prep priority and other tasks. I also find that the “brain breaks” in between study sessions, by moving my body and eating healthy snacks, help to manage a steady energy level.
Next, I have dedicated a study space because it has been tempting to stay in my pajamas all day and study in my bed. By studying in the same location it has made it harder for my brain to know what to focus on like should I be sleeping, checking my Instagram account, or studying? So when my calendar tells me it is time to study, I go to a dedicated study space with a desk; my laptop with a large monitor to ease reading; and study aids so my brain stays focus on the task at hand. By having a dedicated study space, I am able to minimize distractions such as television noises, video games, and hearing my annoying brother. I have also utilized a noise-cancelling headphone to get ultra-focused on the subject when the occasional distraction rears its head.
Lastly, I don't hesitate asking for help regarding subjects I don't understand. I have used the teacher's virtual office hour to efficiently get the explanation on a challenging topic and gain expectations for optimal test preparation. Notwithstanding the study platform, I find that a good way to fast-track my learning is to seek support and guidance from people who are willing to help me.

Jaclyn from California
High School Senior
Troy High School