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

When I was in elementary school, I was deemed a "gifted" student. This meant I got to sit out one period and read more advanced books and play games meant to stimulate brain activity. It also meant that I had gained a reason to stop studying. I was already "gifted", so why would I have to work for good grades. I felt on top of the world, as most fifth graders do. Fast forward to freshman year of high school, and my 3.3 G.P.A. was holding me back from being inducted into the National Honor Society, my 23 on the practice ACT was dampening my chances of being admitted to an academically rigorous university. At work, I couldn't be bothered to do anything I didn't feel challenge me, and everything in my life that did challenge me I couldn't continue, because I wanted to be able to be gifted at it on the first at-bat.
Test preparation may have saved my future. After receiving my scores from a preliminary ACT session, I decided that I no longer had a "gifted" status. I wanted to be extraordinary, and a 23 on the ACT didn't come close to extraordinary for me. The only problem is that test preparation classes are expensive, and my family doesn't have enough money to pay hundreds just to increase a score that really wouldn't matter too much anyway. My solution would be to conduct a meta-analysis of the test. I Googled, Youtubed, and researched everything the internet knew about the ACT. After finding out exactly what made the exam tick, I completed practice test after practice test.
My last ACT score was a 31. I completed my goal, but what I got out of the experience wasn't just an admirable ACT score. I regained the grit that made me "gifted" in the first place. My quest for preparation on the ACT expanded to my classes, work, and extracurriculars. Aside from completing practice tests, the best test preparation method is to be aware of the fact that almost all exams are not aptitude tests; that with preparation coupled with grit can work wonders.

Eliana from Nebraska
High School Senior
Elkhorn South High Schol