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

Studying was not an enjoyable activity for me during my early high school career. While I knew it was crucial to success, it often felt like a laborious process and like a waste of time. However, I have learned to view studying in a different light. If you are willing to dedicate some time to identifying which study techniques work best for you, it can be fun. In my case, by establishing a positive mindset and creating game-like study practices, I am able to tackle the studying process and challenge the information learned in class.
Before pursuing any challenge, instituting a positive mindset is essential as it will push you to overcome hardship and continue your pursuit of success. This principle applies to studying as well. If I ever struggle with studying, I use positive affirmations such as: “I can do this”, “I can solve any problem”, “I will overcome whatever challenge is ahead.” With these statements, I am able to stay on target and use failure as a tool for success instead of a reason to give up.
Once my positive mindset is sound, I like to “gamify” my studying process. I find it is more fun for me to create a challenge to solve, so why not make practice testing and flashcard memorizing more challenging? In order to do this, I start by timing myself on how fast I can finish a practice test that scores at least an 80% or seeing what is the maximum amount of flashcards I can define in succession. With each round, I must try to beat my previous score in various aspects (increased test score, decreased timing, etc.). Once I have beaten my previous score three times, I use that as an indication that I am successfully mastering the material.
Of course there are more studying tools at hand as studying can be whatever you want it to be. I did not fully grasp this during my freshman year, but now I have fun challenging myself while studying which makes it easier to reinforce the topics I strive to master.

Jeremy from New Jersey
High School Senior
Teaneck High School