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

I took my first ACT test the summer before my sophomore year of high school and I was so nervous. I had taken classes to prepare, however, I was not ready for the stress of the actual test day. I got to the classroom where I was taking my test, sharpened my pencils, sat down, and was thinking about all of the things I had studied. The tests were passed to us and the timer began. This is where my brain went blank. As the clock was ticking down, I was frantically filling out as many bubbles as I could. Before I knew it, the first two sections were over and we had a 15 minute break. At the break, I found myself wondering what had just happened? How did I let my stress get to me? When going back into the classroom to finish the second half, I found my emotions start to get to me. As tears started rolling down my checks, my proctor sat down next to me, gave me some tissues, and said a couple things to help me calm down. After finishing the last two sections, and submitting the test, I felt like I had failed.
Leaving with that pit feeling in my stomach, I new that the next time I would take a test like that I had to be better prepared. The next ACT test date I was planning was in the following February, 8 months after. I decided to do continuous study, timing myself in small increments, not study sessions that were multiple hours long. These shorter, simple practice problems that I would time, allowed me to work on managing my stress while testing. Before my first ACT, I studied many different ideas and subjects in one day, but I found that narrowing the area of study each day to just one subject or idea allowed me to retain more information. I have been able to use these strategies through out high school to help me be successful with my testing. Having consistency in my studying allowed me to manage my nerves and stress.

Brooklyn from Utah
High School Senior
American Fork High School