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

Bent over the lined page, the nail of my thumb flattens a fold I’ve made at is center. Unfurling the page alongside my class notes, some experimental funk blaring through my headphones, I begin to doodle. Covered with clouds and cats with laser-eyes, the page is soon tattooed in black ink, its cacophonous illustration a lesson for the eyes. By doodling my notes, I manage to not only make visual connections between abstractions, but also stimulate multiple areas of my brain at once, holding my focus for late-night crash courses and having fun while I’m at it.

Contrary to popular belief, ADD describes an intense and persistent difficulty concentrating on one thing at a time when those things aren’t particularly interesting, NOT a general lack of focus. As a student with ADD, I’m forced to be creative about the ways I tackle assignments—studying is no exception. Over the years, I’ve found that engaging my fine motor skills by writing in cursive and drawing (which strengthens neural pathways that connect the two hemispheres, and stimulates the cerebellum), reviewing notes while listening to music (which exercises Wernicke’s Area), and fidgeting (with an eraser, a bouncing leg, really anything) all at once, I unlock focus without sacrificing productivity.

In any case, the best way to study is by exercising parts of your brain you wouldn’t otherwise use when studying in the traditional way. By doing this, students may increase their learning potential, the amount of information they are able to retain, and (most importantly) defy the notion that learning must be absent of fun or cannot happen on students’ own terms.

Jacqueline from Florida
College Sophomore
Miami-Dade College, Kendall Campus