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Maddi Lee

Best Test Prep Advice from Your Favorite Songs

We all know that song. It’s absolutely terrible. You hate it. You hear it on the radio 24/7, and then, a week later, listening to the radio…


Music is powerful. Songs stick in your memory and can affect your emotions and productivity…And guess what? They can also give you test prep advice! Yes, now even Eminem can teach you how to pass AP Chemistry.

Here are some of the best songs to listen to before you take your next test!


1) Move On – Bruno Mars

I come to you now when I need you,

But why do I wait to come see you,

I always try to do this on my own

But I was wrong cause only with you can I move on.

Can I move on.

Don’t know about you, but I interpreted this as Bruno Mars singing to a TI-84 graphing calculator. Well, actually, no. I pictured him singing this at my wedding with Chris Hemsworth. Either way, though, this song is golden test prep advice! Don’t try to get through your test alone! Bring a calculator. Bring extra pencils. Bring a snack. Preparation is key. You don’t want to be singing this song afterwards.


2) Hall of Fame – The Script

You can throw your hands up

You can beat the clock (yeah)

You can move a mountain

You can break rocks

You can be a master

Don’t wait for luck

Dedicate yourself and you gon’ find yourself

The best advice in this, I think, is line 6. Don’t wait for luck! You make your own luck. I have a lot of friends who brag about “winging” a test and then complain afterwards when their grades suffer for it. You can’t expect an A to be born out of your collective conglomeration of Netflix hours. Not that there’s anything wrong with Netflix. Bless that gift to humankind.



3) Anytime You Need a Friend – Mariah Carey

When the shadows are closing in

And your spirit diminishing

Just remember

You’re not alone

And love will be there

To guide you home

This one is particularly relatable. Particularly the first two lines. Take Mariah Carey’s advice and remember that you are not alone! Friends are there to help. When you’re studying for a test, get a friend to study with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from your teacher, although they can be intimidating.


4) Skyscraper – Demi Lovato

You can take everything I have

You can break everything I am

Like I’m made of glass

Like I’m made of paper

Go on and try to tear me down

I will be rising from the ground

Like a skyscraper

Like a skyscraper

This song will speak to all AP Calculus students out there. Sometimes, especially right before a hard test, it’ll feel like you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown. Relax! Remember, you’re in control. Panicking will only make things worse. GIRL, YOU ARE A SKYSCRAPER.


5) Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson

You think you got the best of me

Think you’ve had the last laugh

Bet you think that everything good is gone

Think you left me broken down

Think that I’d come running back

Baby you don’t know me, cause you’re dead wrong

Kelly Clarkson’s talking to you, SAT.


Don’t be discouraged if you get a bad test score, or if you’re not doing so well in a class. There are so many people who just give up because they have a bad grade in the class; they assume they’re going to fail eventually, anyways, so they don’t invest as much time as they would have normally. Don’t do this! Get up and try again.. You can only become stronger.


6) Not Afraid – Eminem

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)

To take a stand (to take a stand)

Everybody (everybody)

Come take my hand (come take my hand)

We’ll walk this road together, through the storm

Whatever weather, cold or warm

Just letting you know that you’re not alone

Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

Don’t be afraid! It’s easy to feel the jitters before taking a major test. Butterflies in the stomach shouldn’t keep you from something you’ve worked so hard for, though! Talk with your friends. Know that there have been tons of other kids before you who’ve taken this same road.


7) Fighter – Christina Aguilera

After all that you put me through,

You think I’d despise you,

But in the end I wanna thank you,

‘Cause you’ve made me that much stronger

Learn from your mistakes. This is integral for test prep. If you’ve made a mistake or had a really bad test score, analyze what you did wrong and try a new technique. The best lessons often come from your worst experiences! (Though hopefully getting a bad test score doesn’t count as one of your worst experiences! Remember that it’s just a test.)


8) Don’t Worry be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

In your life expect some trouble

When you worry you make it double

Don’t worry, be happy, be happy now

This is my go-to song for everything. This song is gold…and it honestly has the best test prep advice (and life prep advice) in the world. Don’t stress! Studying for a test is a lot more productive when you’re not tearing your hair out. Keep things in perspective. If this is your personal motto, your life will be a lot easier.


9) Almost There – The Princess and the Frog

People taking the easy way

But I know exactly where I’m going

And getting closer, closer, every day

And I’m almost there, I’m almost there

And almost last but not least…remember that you’re almost there! No matter what happens, within a certain amount of time, everything will be done. All your studying will pay off. Keep yourself upbeat and motivated, and studying won’t be half the chore it normally is…especially when it’s a Friday night…and you’re at home…studying…as I am now…Why.


10) Dare you to Move – Switchfoot

I dare you to move

I dare you to move

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

I dare you to move

I dare you to move

Like today never happened

And alas. If after all that test prep is done and you take the test and you don’t do as well as you thought…None of that matters! Lift yourself up, get moving, and dare yourself to do better next time. Test scores do not define you.


About Maddi Lee

Maddi is currently a high school junior in southern California. She is an avid freelance writer and has been featured in multiple literary publications and anthologies. When she isn't writing, she loves traveling, doodling, and most of all, sleeping. Through her own experience and passion, she hopes to help guide fellow students through the roller coaster that is SAT and college admissions...that is, as long as she survives the journey herself!

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