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

Learning something new, putting it into practice and then studying for the test that will surely follow is what it means to be a student. My test-preparation practices have changed since I began taking college classes full time. I can no longer sit quietly at a desk and pour over the subject matter as I did for high school courses. I have discovered that style of studying doesn't help me learn very well, but instead makes me all tense, fidgety and uncomfortable. I wasn't able to concentrate on the more difficult college material long enough to seriously study for tests. Now I'm much more relaxed in my approach to test-preparation, and the change in style has made me a much better student. I grab a box of Cheez-its and a ginger beer soda for caloric support, and I am ready to begin. I will study with my school stuff spread all over the couch and ottoman but within reach. I always have music playing, my favorite being Broadway musical show tunes, and I can sing along as the moment strikes me. If the topic is writing or requires a detailed explanation, I write my responses out longhand first before typing into my laptop. Longhand helps me to cement the concepts in my mind and remember the subject, and typing it out reinforces what I am learning. If the topic is math or science, I have my graphing calculator, graph paper, notebooks, and a LARGE eraser so I can work on the practice problems and make corrections until I get them right. When I need a breather from concentrating, I'll take a break and watch some silly cat videos that will make me laugh. Afterward, my body is no longer tense, my mind was engaged in something fun and entertaining instead of schoolwork, and I can look with fresh eyes at the subject matter I need to master so I can perform well on the upcoming test.

Kayleigh from Washington
High School Senior
Kentlake High School