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

I have severe anxiety disorder; consequentially, I am often overwhelmed. When it comes to tests, especially those with serious weight on my grades, I panic and fuss and am unable to concentrate. While it would be easiest to accept this and give up, I am also a person of great ambition. My ultimate goal is to become a medical professional, and I will need to perform well in school if I am to succeed. To do so, I have developed a organized, concentration-based study method that allows me to relax as I work.

My first step is always to sit at my breakfast table. It is my designated study area, and my brain is signaled that it is time to work. I then pull out my notebook and make a list of everything I need to do or read during that study session. This puts my workload into perspective and allows me to prioritize my tasks. If I need to memorize basic terms, I will often write them on flashcards and quiz myself, shuffling after every couple of rounds. If I need to grasp general concepts, I will read my textbook and summarize each section in a short paragraph. These can be used as a study guide in future study sessions. I always take a ten minute break every hour to prevent myself from burning out, and if I am extra stressed, I will make myself a cup of tea or have a snack.

This system works for me because it is focused on my wellbeing and concentration rather than my immense workload, which allows me to get more done. I would encourage anyone with anxiety issues to at least try something similar to this. I would also tell them to put their mental health first, and the success will follow.

Zyra from Georgia
High School Senior
Lanier High School