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

Kung Fu Panda 2 changed my life. I came home from the theater in May, 2011 swishing my foot and solemnly whispering “Inner Peace,” as I prepared to face the evil peacock, Lord Shen.
The next week I was staring at myself in the mirror, barefoot on the blue mat, a white belt around my waist. I soon realized I was not the panda I wanted to be. I was an asthmatic, little fifth grader.
After day one, I was admittedly a little discouraged: I couldn’t break a board, I couldn’t do a flip, and I couldn’t stop sweating. Mastery was a lot simpler in theaters than real life. But I went the next day, and the day after that.
It was a slow an arduous process. I remember vividly the first time I tried a jump front kick. I flew into the air, lost my orientation, and crashed into the floor. Ouch. An older student, Mario, helped me up and explained what I needed to fix. ‘Knee up’ I learned. ‘Snap the kick and plant your foot.’
After a few more tries I stopped falling. I felt quite accomplished. “Thanks Mario.” He smiled at me, followed by a crisp high-five.
Within a few more months, I was the one helping out the younger kids. ‘More thrust Julio! Get that knee up there.’
I helped out almost every day: in class, during tests, at tournaments. I earned my black-belt. More importantly though, I was there for Jeffrey when he got his. I was there for Ryan when he won his first tournament. I was there for Mr. Gomez when the school closed down.
I attribute my academic success to my experience with the jump front kick (no, I never used it in school). It was this same process of a discouraging challenge pushing me to work harder. Karate taught me that teamwork plus effort yields results. The same is true for tests. You can do it. All you have to do is get that knee up and work for it.

Reed from Texas
High School Senior
Jesuit College Prep