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

I am an artist at heart, and you can tell this by the permanent paint stains on my jeans. For years, I suppressed this artistic, visual side of myself while studying for school, because I figured--like any other average student--that blindly reading my dry textbooks would help me absorb the necessary information to ace my tests. While I did manage to get decent results, I felt suffocated while studying because of the fact that it was so boring and lackluster. Even if the subject was something I was interested in, such as biology, reading obscure jargon off of my dusty books made the task at hand that much more difficult to concentrate.

I wasted years struggling to find passion and joy while studying, until one day, it clicked for me: why not combine a seemingly boring and stressful task (studying for a test) with something that sparks so much joy for me (art)? I discovered this concept while taking detailed text notes for my AP World History class. My mind started dozing off, reading about these ancient empires dating back thousands of years, and I started to doodle tiny images on the sidelines of my paper. I remember drawing camels with merchants carrying spices to represent the Silk Roads, drawing Darius the Great next to his contributions to Persia, and drawing the many innovative technologies that led to the success of the travelers during the Age of Exploration. It gave me a new perspective on these ancient people and events that I had little attachment to previously, and the small images I drew helped me to visualize the dates I needed to memorize--not to mention, I actually had a blast sketching and imagining things because of my love for art. Now, if you take a glance at all my notes for school, you'll see them adorned with many drawings connecting the information I need to succeed at school with my passion for art.

Ga Won from Virginia
High School Senior
Centreville High School