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

The dreaded test. Most fear it, many procrastinate it, and almost all do not effectively study for it. When I started in high school, I was challenged with all my classes as honors or AP. Not prepared for the rigor, I received many D’s and F's on tests. I was confused and did not understand what I was doing wrong. What I did not know at the time was that I was not studying effectively. Over the years, I have researched and experimented with many study techniques. Since then, I have devised a study plan that I now use in my college career.
Here are my secrets for studying success. Step 1 start at least 5 days before the test and plan for what you are going to study. I get my planner out and write what I am going to study each day. Step 2 make sure you have all the materials beforehand and use the Pomodoro technique. First, you set a timer for 25 min and study without any distractions such as shows, lyrical music, checking your phone, and I don’t even go to the bathroom. Then, you take a 5 min break. You repeat this cycle 4 times. After the 4th time, you take a 30 min break. This time is usually when I either get lunch, do some exercises, or do a fun task. Then, you return and repeat the cycle. I typically plan on 1 cycle for each day and then I switch to another subject. By studying early, I often feel prepared for the test before the 5 days are up. It also allows the information to sink in because your brain stores information in your memory during sleep. Lastly, while studying I do practice tests and flashcards instead of reviewing the information. This allows you to recall the information instead of just recognizing it.
Overall, I am so glad that I learned about studying and proper techniques. It has brought me academic success finishing high school with a 3.8 GPA and I currently have the same as a junior in college studying Mechanical Engineering. One does not have to dread tests if you know how to study.

Lindsey from Minnesota
College Junior
North Dakota State University