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

For the majority of people the place where they will spend the most time in their life learning is in school but strangely enough school doesn't teach us how to learn. Many professors I've had only read verbatim from a slideshow presentation and expected the students to retain all the information. Students must fend for themselves and discover how they can learn new concepts and memorize the information for exams. Through years of trial and error I've discovered an efficient system for preparing for a test.
The first step is to determine what topics are on the test. More than a few times I've spent hours studying and when test time came many of the things I studied weren’t there, or even worse there were items on the test I didn't study. Clarifying with the professor well before the test will eliminate this problem. The next and most important step in test preparation is to review your notes that were made in class later that same day. Doing so helps to cement topics in your mind and will allow you to avoid being forced to do a desperate cram session the night before a test.
An effective way to help you focus while studying and keep yourself motivated is to apply a version of the pomodoro technique. In this process you alternate between active study time and breaks in pre-planned time increments. I’ve found that a good ratio is a 5-minute break for 30 minutes of studying. This technique makes the study sessions feel much shorter which allows you to focus for much longer. The built-in breaks act as rewards for your studying that will keep you motivated
A study partner or group can dramatically improve your studying experience. You will have the opportunity to vocalize certain topics to someone else. This allows you to work out ideas and solidify them in your mind. Your partner or group can also help you clarify topics you might be struggling with by sharing their own knowledge. In addition, having another motivated person studying by you will in turn motivate you.

Osman from Virginia
College Junior
Colorado State University Global Campus