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

I have always had a severe test anxiety that has been reoccurring since high-school. I would completely know the material up until the day of the exam. This is when everything would go completely blank. When I came to college, my anxiety became much more intense since there was more material that was needed to be remembered. After the first few months of failing multiple exams, I sat down at my desk and began to brainstorm a plan to find a strategy that can help me remember more information. I tried flashcards, highlighting words or phrases, study-blue, and even a quizlet. After many failed attempts, I had an epiphany. Whenever I feel anxious I would play some music in the background to calm my nerves. This gave me the idea to write up songs for each of my exams. It has been psychologically proven that if a stimulus is created it can help with the memory function of our brain. Our mind can understand that whenever the stimulus appears we are to remember and do the command or act that is paired with that stimulus. In my case, pairing a melody from my favorite song with important topics has helped me immensely while taking the exam. First, I would write down each key word from each objective that is important to the exam. Then, I would choose a song melody that can be paired with the key words in order for the song to stay on rhythm. Next, I would put the melody and the words together and write a memorable song. Finally, when it is time to take the exam, I sing the song in my head and quietly hum the melody. This has helped me on so many occasions, and my test scores have most definitely benefited. At first it seemed weird to be humming when so many students were around me. However, as time progressed, I have become accustomed to this habit and it has become second nature to have to write a song for an exam. My strategy has truly helped me get by a lot of my difficult classes and continue my education without any worries or stressors so that I can graduate on time.

Bryanna from Massachusetts
College Junior
University of Massachusetts-Amherst