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

My favorite test preparation strategy is to warm-up my brain before the test by looking over the specified content. However, I haven’t always done this. I just started using this strategy last year over frustrations that the many other methods I tried were not working. I have always been a student-athlete, as a swimmer and a water polo player and in both sports, we have an extensive warm-up routine. This is to ensure that we performed our best during meets and games. Oddly enough, it occurred to me one day that I was never “warming up” for my tests. I wondered if this could impact my overall performance, so I decided to try out this newfound tactic. I did my usual studying and made sure that the night before I wasn’t staying up late studying and getting to bed on time. The next morning, I got up an hour earlier than usual. My first instinct was that I was severely tired and that the hopes for my original plan were going to fail miserably. Despite this initial feeling, I knew I was never going to know the result if I didn’t at least attempt this strategy. So, I got up and flipped open my notes. It was a struggle at first, but I soon found my brain in a different headspace. It was much easier to pick up the information and retain it. I had never felt this way before. The test of my test-taking strategy, though, was far from over. I still had to take the test! After I spent about an hour looking over my materials, I headed to school to face the physical and mental test that was in front of me. I started the exam, like any other, but shortly realized that I was recollecting the exam contents quite clearly. I was moving at a faster pace than usual, but not feeling rushed. Soon, I finished my test, dropped my pencil, and deposited the test into my teacher’s bin. It was over, but only time would tell if my strategy worked. A week later, I was beaming at a broad 96% at the top. My teacher’s only comment: “did you do something different for this one?” I knew I had.

Nolan from Michigan
High School Senior
Wylie E. Groves High School