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

"You got this dude!" Or "ygtd" for short. Teachers and professors have always asked "what does this mean at the top of your paper?" Sometime they even think I'm attempting to cheat. The reality is, before starting and exam, I encourage myself. In elementary school I had one teacher always write "you got this" on the white board and it has managed to stick with me ever since.

To often students go into exams stressed and overwhelmed and often forget that one of the biggest elements to taking a test is feeling a sense of self-confidence, that all the time and energy spent studying will reflect and pay off.

My second practice to test preparation is drowning out all the sounds of other test takers. Nothing builds anxiety more than hearing your neighbor move on to the next page of the test and you're still trying to understand the problem. It is key to me to remain focused on my own work and focus because I know each person works at their own pace and I am no exception.

The last practice to keep my sanity comes from acknowledging that there may be some questions in which I don't know how to answer and that's okay. I typically keep count on my test of how many problems I am not certain about. It allows me to walk out of my exam with some understanding and evaluation of the material. I am able to recognize what I need to study harder and what I am confident in.

These three strategies of both exam preparation and test taking all play a role into the ways I remain calm and focused.

Chase from California
College Junior
University of California, Santa Cruz