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