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

“Prepare well but also sleep well and believe in yourself,” my parents tell me before every test I take. Oftentimes test preparation seems to be linked to massive amounts of studying and multiple all-nighters, however, test preparation for me does not just include studying but also caring for my health and wellbeing. In the end, I may be able to cram information into my brain, but if my body is feeling lethargic due to my lack of care for it, then my performance will not be any better than not studying.

To begin with, I write down all exam dates into my agenda, if applicable, so I am aware of what is coming up and what I need to start preparing for. By having the dates written down, I can plan when to start studying in order to ensure that I am not overwhelmed at the last minute due to procrastination. I make sure I give myself at least a week to look over the material and fully digest the information, so I am not cramming in everything last minute which is ineffective, because I can easily forget information that is not truly understood to the full extent.

To study, I begin by sectioning off the topics being tested into manageable chunks, so every day I am working on something new but small enough to fully comprehend and internalize. For exams that require memorization, I connect the concepts to funny ideas or words that can easily trigger the answer in my brain while for exams that involve working out problems such as mathematics, I tend to study by working out practice problems in order to better understand the process.

Besides studying, preparing for the exam also means getting an adequate amount of sleep, exercise, and nutritious food. By sleeping enough, I give my body enough rest to function. Furthermore, exercise allows me to relieve stress and any test anxiety which better prepares me for tests, because I can go in feeling not only prepared but relaxed. Lastly, with a nutritious meal right before, I feel energized and ready to take on any exam.

Sabrina from Texas
High School Senior
Valle Verde Early College High School