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

Midterms and final exams can be absolutely terrifying. These daunting tasks - whether they be in the form of essays, traditional tests, or group projects - can stress the living daylights out of college students (and high school students) who are already full-time athletes, musicians, speech-and-debaters, daughters, and human beings. Between juggling a full day of school, extracurriculars, lunch dates, homework, social scene, sleep, and of course the obligatory Netflix binge, it can be hard to find time to begin studying or writing.

Alas, these tests are usually a large percentage of our grades, so there is no option to sit them out or avoid thinking about them. They are a necessary evil we must face. Luckily, there are strategies to do so!

The first thing to consider is the scope of the essay or exam you are preparing for. If it is lengthy or cumulative, you must set aside a good amount of time to work on it. It is also a great idea to figure out your professor's expectations for the assignment and what you need to do to excel. Marking out short intervals a week or two in advance dedicated solely to this exam/essay is crucial, as your brain will get used to the material and won't be overwhelmed at the last minute. Sleep during this time is crucial; you cannot retain information or apply yourself if you're not getting shut-eye. It's scientifically proven. Studying in groups can sometimes help, but usually, you should find a quiet and nicely lit place to hunker down. Return to this place when studying; the familiarity makes it less daunting. Keep things that motivate you around. Snacks, music, or motivational quotes on post-it notes all do the trick.

All of these things will help you feel focused and aware of your own abilities and confident in them. Once you near the day, force yourself into growth mindsets. These are the ones that will push you toward success. After all, you studied this. You know this!

Koryn from Maryland
College Sophomore
Vanderbilt University