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

The ACT has become a staple for high schoolers around the US. As someone who has spent over 20 hours taking the ACT, I have learned a few tricks to improve my score. The two greatest strategies that helped me succeed was knowing the ACT’s own rules and taking countless practice tests.
My strategy is based on the fact that the ACT has two self-imposed limitations: its consistency and multiple-choice format. Students are taught from an early age to take advantage of the multiple-choice questions. Using the process of elimination, test-takers can increase their odds of answering correctly. With ACT structured questions, there can be no ambiguity between answers. One is definitively correct, and three are justifiably wrong. Another way to take advantage of the ACT is to focus on the skills that are being tested in each section. Take the science section, for example, focuses on graph interpretation and drawing conclusions.
The ACT uses a unique structure for its questions. To be successful, I found it was essential to take advantage of ACT official practice tests. The practice ACT tests provided by CollegeBoard follow the same structure and rules that the official test is governed by. Taking several of these tests empowers students to get used to the ACT.
I have one last delicious tip given to me during an ACT test in Lincoln Nebraska: dark chocolate. The biggest slump during the ACT is the break before the reading and science sections. To prevent a mid-test crash, caffeine should be avoided before the test but eating caffeine-packed dark chocolate during the break provides test-takers with the energy to finish the test with a bang.
As I’ve worked on improving my own score over the years, there are a few tricks I’ve learned to take advantage of the ACT’s self-imposed rules, study official practice tests, and to always bring dark chocolate.

Bryan from Iowa
High School Senior
Lewis Central High School