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

While taking psychology my junior year of high school, I learned that it is better to study during a spread-out time frame. By that I mean studying over days, or weeks if necessary, and not all at once. It is called distributed practice and implementing this into my study habits has made me less stressed and helped me remember more. Going along with that, I also use the Pomodoro technique. It is similar to distributed practice just at a smaller level. I study for twenty-five minutes then take a five-minute break and do that four more times. After the fourth study session, I take a longer break that lasts around fifteen minutes. What I really like about this technique is that it can be made for anyone and any activity. I can make the breaks longer if I am really concentrated on studying or I can make them shorter to not feel tiresome. Using this allows me to study at a pace that does not feel overwhelming. The final habit I have found useful while studying is listening to music or other sounds. The music I listen to is very specific. There are no lyrics, as I find them distracting, and it has an intermediate paced beat to keep me from getting tired. If I am not listening to that type of music, then I will listen to natural sounds such as beach waves, rainfall, and birds chirping. I enjoy this because it keeps me calm and focused, as well as makes me feel as if I was somewhere more peaceful. I listen to these things to block out any other noises that might be going on around me such as the television, video games, or other music. I understand that everyone’s study habits are different and unique to them, but I believe that I found an amazing routine for me and that others can take, if not all, then some parts of my routine for them self.

Liliana from Illinois
College Freshman
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign