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

Although my parents would totally disagree, I would think I have pretty awesome test preparation tactics. I like most people I am sure get pretty jitter during major exam time; and over the years I have had to learn that what works for some does not always work for all. During high school we take so many exams, and its always disheartening when you are doing well in a course and it seems that A will be planted on your report card and then BAM, you have a low C or high D looking up at you; all do to poor test taking skills or even simply because you were just too nervous to focus. I would like to think that the main issue for most students is the fact that they are stressed behind the outcome of the test with their parents, which in turn causes the anxiety during the exams.
I decided to have a talk with my parents, and I told them that I promised to always do my best but cramming sessions seemed to work better for me. Most people hate that tactic, however my SAT scores jumped 300 points from me turning my study sessions around in a way that was better and less stressful for me. I decided to take more notes during class and look over my classwork periodically rather than studying day in and day out for final exams. Now of course my way is not fool proof, however I had to try something different. Some things come natural to most people and for those things that do not of course you have to put in the extra work. Learning to manage your days and categorizing what’s more important on a weekly basis from course to course can help keep the anxiety of not knowing at bay.
So, to anyone confused as to why things seem to not work out when it comes to their studying, I suggest they evaluate their patterns and make sure that the way they are studying is conducive to the way that they learn. Your parents and teachers all have a way that they believe is proper but again everyone is different, which means we hear differently, see differently and learn differently. I prefer to take the edge off cram in some knowledge at first and then relax and do nothing the day before the test, pray and let it rip!

JUSTIN from Texas
High School Senior