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

Studying has never been my strong suit, but being in the International Baccalaureate program, I know that studying is extremely important. In order to force myself to study, I've had a process going that I have followed throughout all my years of high school. I call it the 'Gummy Bear Studying'. I am a big foodie so this studying process has both fueled the foodie within me and helped me pass my tests. Here's how it works. Let's say I have to read a certain amount of pages in a book or write a certain number of pages for an essay. I'll divide the number of pages I have to read or write evenly and put a gummy bear at each even point. If I have to read sixty pages, a gummy bear will be waiting for me every five or ten pages. This way, I am studying, yet I'm working towards something. It works with writing notes or studying my notes as well. For every page I quiz myself and get all the answers right, I award myself with three gummy bears. It works with flash cards as well, which I use for my science classes and language classes. Every flash card I get right, I get a gummy bear. For my math class, every problem I get right, I award myself with a gummy bear. This process has been very helpful throughout my college career and it has helped me earn a 3.975 GPA and a 30 ACT. This has worked so well for me because I do better when I am working for something and if that something is food, I'm even more willing to work for it. If I didn't have this gummy bear process, I don't think I would have had the willpower to sit down and study like I do now. This can work for anyone depending on what you like! If you like sports, challenge yourself to do thirty minutes of studying and reward yourself with ten minutes of sports time. It's a matter of giving yourself something to work for. I am so glad that I came up with my method and I've shared it with so many of my friends who agree that it has helped them improve their test preparation and most importantly, their test scores.

Lauren from Utah
High School Senior
Hillcrest High School