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

The earth around us provides more inspiration than we are aware of. One of the most crucial practices I implement into every study session is the use of nature. In the past, if I had any test anxiety, I would immediately resort to walks in nature. Before long, the warm sun and the soft breeze around me would calm me down enough that I felt in the right state of mind to study again. It was at this point I learned the benefits of only studying outside. Sunshine, rain, snow, regardless- the outdoors clears my head without fail. I started to find trails around parks that had very specific landmarks I could easily remember. One of the most crucial classes I needed to study for my senior year was AP Biology. When we went over our functions of the body unit, I started to classify specific trees and rivers as points for me to memorize. The beautiful willow tree in front of the gazebo represented the start of the digestive tract. As I went farther into the park, the river became the esophagus leading to the stomach. Each time I would walk my route, I had to recite the structure and function of the digestive system until it was ingrained in my memory. If I had a new unit to study, I would find another trail, another park, an entirely new set of scenery. The specific landmarks represented cues in my memory that allowed my studying to come to life before me. This was when I learned 3D, hands-on education is how I learn best. The fresh air around me allows me to focus on only what is necessary, the sun provides the vitamin D energy I crave at the end of a long day, and walking allows me to remain fit while memorizing everything I need to be successful in school- almost unbeknownst to me. When I understand everything I need to know, I reward myself with my warm bed to rest and a good Netflix show to settle down with. I could never return to my standard study habits, not after such great success with the unique practice I hold close to my heart.

Emma from Wisconsin
High School Senior
Altoona High School