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

It’s quiz day in my calculus class and my heart rate is a tad elevated as I walk into class. I remind myself that I am well prepared for whatever comes, and I recall all of the scratch papers of practice problems I had done to the sound of Tower Guard blazing in my earphones the night before. So I pick up the quiz and move swiftly to my desk. I sit down and take it one problem at a time while the loud throng of last night’s metal echos in my head to curb my lack of enthusiasm for taking tests.
Ask any AP student to describe their daily life in three words and most will respond as follows, “quiz, test, and pop-quiz.” While I am sure that reply is similar to students at schools around the nation, I must admit there are times during the school year when I feel bogged down by the deluge of assessments that occur so often in many of my classes. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting schools should scrap testing. I am only stating that I find it hard to keep my cool through the blitz. Therefore, I have developed my own personal tool set to help me “push through the pain” of testing.
I begin with coming to classes each day prepared. Also, my brain likes a little background noise, so I play different music for each class that I study for. I feel the songs help me to recall what I study. I replay that same music in my head during a test or quiz. Most importantly, I try to remind myself that a semester of work is not reflected in a single grade in the grade book, and we humans are not perfect all of the time. Learning is a lifelong commitment I have made to myself because I am interested in the world. So I keep plugging away, pushing through the fire and flames of my mind. Hey, the journey is the most important part of my high school experience. Keeping it real is my thing.

Raymond from California
High School Senior
La Habra High School