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

Most students possess the resources to go to out of school tutorials, or at least seek advice from their parents when they’re having trouble in a subject. However, I had none of these ample opportunities. Both of my parents didn’t graduate high school in Pakistan and so, since fourth grade, I have been tutoring myself. Whenever I have trouble on a subject or can’t figure out a complex problem, I typically have to reteach it to myself on my own. My education has been sustained by hours worth of Google searches as well as YouTube lectures.
However, this effective process wasn’t functional when I entered high school. The internet didn’t contain high-level problems for me to practice with, and so, my grades took a bit of a dive in my IB and AP classes. I could only hope that hours of rigorous work can somehow match lessons other students get in thirty minutes with qualified teachers. We also didn’t have the funds to hire an expensive tutor, especially for big tests like the SAT or IB tests, because those tutors would charge $200 to $300 a month. I also had to study on my own for these tests, however, it was hard to balance studying for school and the SAT. While other students had $1,000 summer camps and personalized tutors, I had nothing except for College Board’s released SATs and YouTube tips.
Although it was vigorous, I’m honestly appreciative for this experience. It has established me into an independent, diligent student who has the courage to discover and try new things. My grades aren’t perfect, but the knowledge that I’ve worked extremely hard for them gives me the satisfaction that a perfect score could never bring.

Sara from Texas
High School Senior
Westwood High School