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

Test preparation begins long before test day. I start by making myself interested in the subject matter. Love for and appreciation of subject matter induces within me the motivation required to endure--what would have been tedium--sitting for long hours and interpreting ideas represented by letters written in a book. To find interest in a subject, I pretend that I'm reading something that has never been known--as if the words were passed down from some extra-dimensional, all powerful, being. Suddenly, everything is amazing--such truth--truly amazing..

However, beyond the chaotic and often ineffable emotional states induced through interaction with subject, I require consistency, determination, and perseverance. The aforementioned triage must be developed over time through the implementation of disciplined and habitual practice--the hard part. If I find myself habitually drifting in idleness when I should otherwise be studying, I break that habit by doing small amounts of entirely unintimidating work. At my low points, I might start by doing only 5 minutes of work--luckily those are few and far between. In any case, as long as I can form some habit, I progress. Every day, I increase the amount of work I do by a minimum of ten seconds, until I find myself eventually studying long enough to understand whatever material I'm trying to grasp.

Supposing I developed a good drive to learn the material and have a consistent study pattern, I can now move on to the details of how I prepare. I tend to study in small blocks, about 30 minutes to one hour stretches. I tend to let physical sensations dictate when I take my breaks, and these physical signals generally manifest after 30 to 60 minutes of sitting. During breaks, I reward myself, then repeat the process. If I really want to know something extremely well, I write everything I read down, but in my own words. Also, I pretend like I'm explaining the subject to someone that knows nothing about it. That's the gist of how.

Malik from Massachusetts
College Junior
University of Massachusetts