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

The best test taking tactic, or resource I utilize, is coffee. The sweet aroma that welcomes you upon entering any Starbucks location, is coffee. Black, with cream and sugar, hot or iced, always ready for crunch time, coffee. A month before the big day, to the week before and you are starting to get anxious: coffee is there for you. Coffee to calm the nerves and coffee to get you going in the morning. Coffee. I'm drinking coffee as I write this application because, coffee perseveres. Coffee keeps you going late into the night, especially when you forgot about the big project the night before and you do exactly what all the studies done at all the prestigious schools told you not to do, cram the night before. Flash card, after flash card, the vocabulary words sink in, they lock into my memory along with the aroma of 2 a.m coffee. The television on in the background, something mundane just loud enough so the eerie silence does't distract me from the 'key points' I was supposed to routinely memorize throughout chapters 1-11, but have since waited until the last night before the exam. Finally, with heavy lids, it is time to sleep. Even when I close I eyes, letters and words dance across my eye lids then, suddenly, I'm dreaming of giant flashcards and fill-in bubble multiple choice questions as they chase me in my dreams. I jump up, three minutes before the first of five alarms I've set because I was so paranoid about sleeping in and now I've missed out on three precious minutes. Sigh. I scramble two eggs, add some cheese and butter some toast, a tried-and-true fail safe breakfast before the most important test item: coffee. Leaving one hour earlier than normal, to go over last minutes details, listening to "Britney Radio" on Pandora to get into the right state of mind in the morning so no road rage accidents occur and I arrive at my destination safely and early. After a few deep breaths and some squats, I'm ready to head and study as long as I don't forget, my coffee.

Jacqueline from New Mexico
College Junior
University of New Mexico