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

I have not always been good at taking standardize test, not because I am not smart enough or don't know the material. But because of the fear and anxiety that usually creeps in right before 'Test Day'. The inner turmoil that can boil up in my stomach and the wild thoughts of failure taking root in my head, can cause a complete shut down of my mind like a aborted Nasa launch. So here is what I do to ensure my success of getting through an otherwise horrible day.

First, I make sure I get plenty of rest the night before. I turn off all electronics, my cell phone, iPad and my Mac Book. That alone can be stressful for a teenager, but it's got to be done with a full 8 hours and nothing less, for success. On the day of the test I get up early and meditate. Learning to clear my mind of all the negative mumbo-jumbo trying to invade my inner-peace, is wiped away like a chalk board.
Sitting in that Yoga position and being completely still, breathing deep breaths and emptying all my fears about the outcome of the day, fall off me like a weight. Next, I shower washing away the pre-test jitters, visualizing my nerves going down the drain and prepare myself for a healthy breakfast. I know if I don't feed my body, my brain will be hungry and not function properly. I don't try to fill up on the foods I know will make me sluggish or weigh me down, but opt for a slice of whole wheat toast, a hard boil egg and some sliced fruit. Not much of a milk drinker, but I recently found I like drinking Almond Milk and it satisfies the pit of my nervous stomach.

And last, but certainly not least, I pray. I ask God to give me the ability to change the things I can change and the peace to be ok with the things I can not. I recognize that the Test does not own me and has no power to defeat me. I thank God for the Test knowing it might not be the last one I have in life. I'll either fail it and survive or pass it and thrive. Most of all I like knowing I did the best I could do to be ready.

Khayla from Illinois
High School Senior
Warren Township High School Gurnee Il. 60031