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

We’ve all heard how we should prepare for testing plenty of times. Time management, study, sleep and eat healthily. They’re cliche but work for many. Sadly, they weren’t enough for me. Anxiety would always crawl its way in whenever I tried to apply them, hindering them somewhat useless. This left me incredibly defeated and frustrated. However, I was determined to find something that would work and I could rely on for success. Through trial and error, I have finally found something that I find myself proudly sharing whenever I’m asked for help.
The way you think about a situation dictates how you will react to it. For many, such as myself, an important test is stressing and panic-inducing. It’s this anxiety which greatly restricts our ability to perform well, not solely when we take a test but also when we prepare for it. I’m competitive by nature, and I've learned to implement this as a form of motivation. I challenge those negative thoughts, fight back against them, telling them how wrong they are. This system is composed of coping statements. When I find myself thinking something along the lines of “It’s too late to even bother understanding this chapter” I stop and take a breath. Replying with some positivity like “It’s still worth a shot, besides I’m sure there’s something interesting in here.” I’ve learned what motivates me to read that one more page, answer that one more question and solve that one extra equation. Challenges are actually the reason behind some of my highest grades. Here I would have a friendly rivalry with a friend, seeing who could get the highest scores. While it may seem childish, it keeps my anxiety at bay, made things less serious and easier to handle. Not to mention that receiving a picture of him in a library surrounded by notes and coffee while I laid down scrolling through my phone lazily got me off my butt and into being productive in some way. Basically, be positive, find what drives you and rely on others when possible.

Itzel from Texas
High School Senior
DeSoto High School