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

For me, test preparation starts on the first day of class. Over the years of high school and my early college days, I have accomplished doing the bare minimum to receive the best possible results. My study habits saw the greatest improvement in transferring to Santa Clara University into the mechanical engineering program. With being a student-athlete and also having a part-time job, I suffered greatly with the transition from a semester school system to a quarter system I am currently in. I had to make quick adjustments to my habits and my mindset to be successful for the remainder of my time in college.

First-quarter I maintained my old habits and tried to juggle all of my extracurriculars. I was a 3.5 GPA student at my previous university to now earning a 2.4 GPA in my first quarter. In the second quarter, I reevaluated my goals and understood the position that I have been blessed to earn.

On the first day of class, I break down all my notes from all of my math and engineering classes by making a condensed version of the notes in a separate notebook. I also make equation sheets and short examples of steps to approach different problems similar to the ones given to me on my homework assignments. This process takes about an additional hour on top of my homework. When it comes down to the midterms and finals, I just have to practice problems because my understanding of the material is so profound after making the equation and note sheets after all my classes. After 11 weeks in my second quarter after my transfer, I am proud to end with a 3.0 GPA taking some of the hardest classes of my career so far, juggling work, and being a Division I athlete. I can see my progress is only going up from this point on with my dedicated work ethic and support system that I have around me.

Hayelom from Colorado
College Sophomore
Santa Clara University