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

In college, how you study can make or break how you score on a test. Through trial and error, I have developed an engaging system of study that helps me to learn material quickly and efficiently. I break up my study time into blocks spending twenty-five-minutes on study and then taking a five-minutes break. This study system keeps me focused and helps me to stay motivated.
Preparation dictates how well my study session will go. Wherever I study, I make sure that the area is clean and that all my study materials for that session are laid out neatly for easy use. A noisy cell phone is a sure way to ruin a study session, so I turn that on silent except for my alarm. Lastly, I prepare for my breaks by getting a fun book, game or movie ready and setting it aside.
The study sessions themselves are like a race. I set a timer for twenty-five minutes and dive into the text, refining my notes and working practice problems. The break at the end of the session acts like a not so distant finish line and motivates me to study hard to the end. After the timer rings, I breath take a step back and enjoy the break for five minutes on my chosen activity. When the timer rings again, I end my break and dive right back into where I left off.
This strategy is effective because it changes the way I view distractions. Before this, I felt that each time I took a break, I was doing myself a disservice. This demotivated me and made the rest of my study less effective overall. Now I feel like each break is a well-earned reward, and knowing that I was solidly focused for twenty-five minutes is fulfilling. The result is that I work well and instead of feeling worn down at the end of a study session, I feel motivated. I find that I can get more out of four twenty-five-minute blocks of focused study accompanied with five-minute breaks than I could out of two or even three hours of straight drudgery. This method of study helps me to stay hungry and to stay effective.

Nathaniel from Utah
College Junior
Brigham Young University