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

It’s that time again. Testing.

Yes, I know, many of us dread it. From the scribbling of the writing utensil to the constant glances at the clock, it’s a recipe for a stressful environment. However, one way I try to make this process more tolerable is to not view the test as an indicator of failing. Rather, I see it as an indicator of being ready for newer material. Failing makes tests appear very scary. After all, failure is frightening to me. Viewing the test as indication of whether I’m ready to learn more material or not makes the test not seem as harsh. In fact, it makes it look like a caring entity. So, if I don’t like the score I receive, I say to myself, “I’m not ready, yet” and review the material that troubled me.

Studies have shown that going to sleep right after memorizing things improves one’s ability to recall the information. This is why I make sure to go to bed right after I finish studying for an exam. I remember studying for a history exam late at night. When I tried to recite the information I memorized, it was harder than swimming with your legs tied. Frustrated with myself, I decided to call it a night and go to bed. When I woke up, I could recite everything I had studied! I learned that next time I take a test, rather than do an all-nighter, I leave myself some time to rest so my brain can process all of the information I learned.

Finally, when preparing for a test, I will search for past exams. This gives me an idea on what to expect for the test. If I don’t understand the material on the exam, that let’s me know that I should continue studying. If I’m in a rush and do not have the time to answer the questions, I will search for the exam’s answer sheet. By looking at the questions and seeing their answers, I will know how to solve similar questions on the actual test.

These practices have helped me a lot throughout my academic career. It’s how I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA and not be as stressed when taking exams.

Etame from Florida
High School Senior
Palm Harbor University High School