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

When I imagine studying, the first thing I think of is Elle Woods from Legally Blonde cramming for the LSAT on her treadmill, completely conquering life and doing it in fabulous pink headbands. What does preparing for a test really look like though? There are countless variations of personalized studying tactics that have allowed most people to observe what works best for them, but does preparing for a test end with studying?

According to the American Test Anxieties Association about 1 in 5 students have testing anxiety which can lead to low scores and furthermore, low self-confidence. Preparing for a test does not just include knowing the material, but also applies to preparing your mind and body so that you can do your very best. Elle Woods may identify the LSAT with proving something to her awful ex-boyfriend, but for many people, including me, LSAT would be translated to Lightheaded-Sweaty-Anxious and- Trapped.

With experience, I have learned how to stay calm despite my history with testing anxiety. The day of the exam, I try to keep my mind off of it. If you studied and feel prepared there’s no need to give the test any more attention until it starts. Also, I like to keep a water bottle with me! Sometimes, a simple drink of cold water can resurface your attention away from worry and back to the task at hand. It’s always a good idea to have a relaxation technique ready to go. For me, I learned a simple 4-7-8 breathing exercise in which you breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven, and exhale in eight. Lastly, and most importantly, it’s important to keep in mind your self-fulfilling prophesy. A self-fulfilling prophesy is the idea that your expectations will come true in regards to a certain situation. For example, if you say you are going to have a terrible time and do awful on a test- you probably will; BUT on the other hand, if you go in with a positive attitude and believe you will calmly do your best- that outcome is likely to happen!

Samantha from North Carolina
High School Senior
Smoky Mountain High